MANILA, Philippines - Bad news for budget travelers. Budget airline Cebu Pacific and its newly acquired unit Tigerair Philippines are set to hike airline ticket prices by as much as 160%.
The airlines are seeking to raise ticket prices due to the surge in the price of aviation fuel in the world market and the weakening of the Philippine peso against the US dollar.
Cebu Pacific vice president for corporate affairs Jorenz Tanada said the airline has filed a petition to raise airfares before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) last January 21.
"Cebu Pacific requested for an upward adjustment of fuel surcharges due to increasing fuel uplift costs, these are expenses related to transferring fuel, on top of the prevailing jet fuel price. These expenses have also been compounded by the weakening peso," Tanada said.
The International Air Transportation Association's latest Jet Fuel Price Monitor showed the price of jet fuel averaged $124.6 per barrel, which is already above the full year target of $124 per barrel.
In recent weeks, the Philippine peso had weakened to above P45 to $1. On Wednesday, the Philippine peso closed at P44.830 to the dollar.
Cebu Pacific is seeking to impose higher fuel surcharge between 10-160% on 22 international routes from Manila, Cebu, Iloilo and Clark hubs.
The airline wants to impose an increase on fuel surcharge on the following flights from Manila:
- Jakarta to $59 from $25 ( 136 percent);
- Macau to $33 from $15 (120 percent);
- Hong Kong to $30 from $15 (100 percent);
- Bandar Seri Begawan to $25 from $15 (67 percent);
- Kuala Lumpur to $39 from $25 (56 percent);
- Kota Kinabalu to $23 from $15 (53 percent);
- Taipei to $30 from $20 (50 percent);
- Bangkok to $48 from $30 (47 percent);
- Hanoi to $44 from $30 (47 percent);
- Shanghai to $51 from $37 (38 percent);
- Beijing to $68 from $50 (36 percent);
- Xiamen to $33 from $26 (27 percent);
- Siam Rep to $35 from $30 (17 percent);
- Narita to $55 from $50 (10 percent); and
- Nagoya to $55 from $50 (10 percent).
The airline is seeking to raise the fuel surcharge on the following flights from Clark International Airport to:
Singapore $41 from $20 (105 percent); Macau to $26 from $10 (160 percent); and Hong Kong to $25 from $10 (150 percent).
The airline wants to increase fuel surcharge on the following flights from Cebu to Singapore to $46 from $25 (84 percent) and Bangkok to $56 from $35 (60 percent).
Flights from Iloilo to Singapore would jump to $47 from $25 and to Hong Kong to $34 from $25.
Meanwhile, Tigerair Philippines is seeking to increase the fuel surcharge of 9 domestic flights from NAIA and Clark by P100.
Fuel surcharge on tickets from Manila to Bacolod, Cebu, Iloilo, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban would cost P400, instead of P300. Surcharge on tickets to Davao from Manila would also go up to P500 from P400.
Also, fuel surcharge on flights between Clark and Davao would now cost P500 from P400, while flights between Clark and Kalibo would now cost P400 instead of P300.
Tigerair Philippines is set to adjust the fuel surcharge on flights from Clark to Bangkok, $20 from the current P900; Clark to Hong Kong, $10 from P500; and Clark to Singapore, $20 from P860.
Tigerair Philippines is also imposing a fuel surcharge of $35 for new routes including Cebu to Bangkok and Kalibo to Hong Kong, and $25 for flights between Cebu and Singapore.
The CAB allows airlines to impose fuel surcharge on international and domestic passengers, as a way of providing temporary relief from losses due to the increase in jet fuel prices in the world market.