Airlines seek CAB nod on fuel surcharge hike

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 27 2008 10:55 PM | Updated as of Jun 28 2008 06:55 AM

Local and foreign carriers have sought regulatory permission to increase their fuel surcharges for every one-way trip to offset escalating jet fuel costs.

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and budget carrier SEAIR Inc. filed separate applications before the Civil Aeronautical Board (CAB) recently, joining other foreign airlines.

PAL plans to increase fuel surcharges on flights in China, from $54 to $58; Indonesia from $59 to $74; Korea, from $34 to $54; Singapore, from $29 to $34; Hong Kong, from $35 to $40; Macau, from $35 to $40; and Canada, from $119 to $129.

Budget carrier SEAIR, meanwhile, wants extra charges of P200 for Luzon, Mindanao, and Luzon to Visayas flights; and P150 for Visayas to Mindanao flights.

Foreign airlines with pending applications before the CAB include Northwest, $70 between Philippines and Japan; Saudi Arabian Airlines, $60 from Philippines to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Thai Airways, $105 from Manila to Bangkok; Malaysia Airlines Berhad, $56 from Philippines to Malaysia; and Singapore Airlines, $35 from Singapore to any ASEAN-member countries.

The fuel surcharge is imposed on top of regular fares to allow airlines to recover losses from the spiraling cost of jet fuel, which already surged to $150 a barrel, according to industry leaders.

Fuel accounts for a third of an airline's operating cost per passenger, and has been the second-highest expense next to labor.