Airlines to cut fuel surcharge

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE country’s major airlines on Wednesday said they will lower their fuel surcharges in November.

The airlines issued statements following the Civil Aeronautics Board’s (CAB) announcement that it is altering the applicable passenger and cargo fuel surcharge for domestic and international flights to Level 8 from Level 9 next month.

The CAB cited the lower average price of jet fuel (P42.87 per liter) between Sept. 10 and Oct. 9.

“Airlines wishing to impose or collect fuel surcharge for the same period must file their application with this office on or before the effectivity period, with fuel surcharge rates not exceeding [level 8],” CAB Officer-in-Charge and Deputy Executive Director Maria Elben SL. Moro said in an advisory.

Level 8 on the CAB matrix permits a fuel surcharge per passenger of between P253 and P787 for domestic flights and between P835.05 and P6,208.98 for international flights.

Currently, the fuel surcharge per passenger ranges from P287 to P839 for domestic flights and from P947.39 to P7,044.27 for international flights.

“We are pleased to comply. We shall implement the adjustments to our fuel surcharges in line with the latest CAB directive. The adjusted fuel surcharges apply to tickets that will be purchased in November,” PAL Spokesperson Cielo C. Villaluna said in a statement.

“This piece of good news comes at a time when we are increasing flight capacity across our domestic and international route networks,” she added.

For his part, Xander Lao, Cebu Pacific chief commercial officer, said: “This is a welcome development. We look forward to the lower fuel surcharge which should help make fares more affordable and stimulate air travel as we get nearer the Christmas season.”

“Cebu Pacific will adjust its fuel charges accordingly which should provide passengers great value.”

Low-cost carrier AirAsia Philippines said the Level 8 for November will lower the fuel surcharge cost to the metro cities of Cebu and Davao to P503 and P708 from October’s P571 and P782, respectively.

The airline said it is expecting the new rate “to drive the demand further.”

“At AirAsia, we’re expecting to meet a high average of 90 to 95% in domestic load factor this fourth quarter. With the goal of making travel more affordable as demand peaks, our guests can expect regular promos from AirAsia Philippines as we near the end of the year,” it added. — Arjay L. Balinbin