Buckle up for higher airfares (no thanks to soaring oil prices)

Rappler.com
As airlines petition to pass on higher fuel prices to passengers

MANILA, Philippines – It’s never fun finding a low airfare only to discover at checkout the final inclusive price is higher because of additional fees.

But several Philippine and other carriers are seeking to increase the fuel surcharge fee to pass on the burden of higher fuel prices to their customers.

In 2011, airlines have felt the punch. For example, Cebu Pacific blamed soaring fuel prices for its massive 48% cut in net income. Philippine Airlines (PAL), which suffered labor issues in the same year, also pointed how zooming jet fuel costs contributed to its $33.5 million losses in the period October to December 2011.

Airlines elsewhere are moaning the soaring of this biggest cost (or 2nd biggest next to labor) in their operating expenses. They described 2011 as a “difficult year” because of fuel costs. Adding fuel surcharges to ticket prices lets carriers recover the price of jet fuel. 

Jet fuel price has shot up 9.7% to $137.1 per barrel from March of last year according to the International Air Transport Association.

Below are how some airlines are dealing with it:

Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines (PAL) already raised fuel surcharges for its Manila-Visayas route to P352 from P300 per ticket.

The legacy carrier also increased the Manila-Mindanao route surcharge to P436 from P400. While fuel surcharges for Manila to Luzon were kept at status quo according to a statement released by PAL on March 19.

PAL’s hike in fuel surcharge took effect on March 14.

Singapore Airlines and SilkAir

Singapore Airlines and its subsidiary SilkAir petitoned the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) last week for an adjustment in fuel surcharge.

Singapore Airlines’ requests were:

  • Flights between Singapore and South East Asia (including the Philippines), as well as to Germany and the United Kingdom; and between United Arab Emirates and Kuwait
    • $61 from $55 for first-class
    • $54 from $47 for business class
    • $36 from $34 for economy flights
  • Flights between Singapore and Europe, South Africa and Hong Kong/Seoul/Tokyo/Frankfurt and Moscow; as well as between Barcelona and San Paulo 
    • $221 from $192 for first-class
    • $198 from $180 for business class
    • $174 from $162 for economy flights
  • Flights between Singapore and North America
    • $318 from $290 for first-class
    • $305 from $278 for business class
    • $287 from $266 for economy class


SilkAir’s requests are:

  • Flights between Singapore and South East Asia (including the Philippines), as well as to Germany and the United Kingdom; and between United Arab Emirates and Kuwait
    • $52 from $47 for business class
    • $36 from $34 for economy flights
  • Flights from Singapore to all other SilkAir destinations
    • $133 from $122 for business class
    • $114 from $106 for economy flights


Both airlines’ petitions are expected to be approved on March 28 when the CAB board meets.

Cebu Pacific

Cebu Pacific also scheduled to meet with CAB on March 22 to discuss a similar proposal.

Cebu Pacific’s requests:

  • Flights from Manila to Davao, Cotabato, General Santos, Zamboanga, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Dipolog, Ozamis, Pagadian and Surigao
    •  P500 from P400
  • Flights from Manila to Calbayog, Catarman, Caticlan, Tagbilaran, Dumaguete, Cebu, Tacloban, Iloilo, Bacolod, Roxas and Kalibo
    • P400 from P300
  • Flights from Cebu to Legaspi, Puerto Princesa, Clark, Zamboanga and Davao
    • P350 from P300
  • Flights between Cagayan to Iloilo, Davao to Iloilo, and Cebu to Legaspi
    • P350 from P300
  • Flights from Manila to Legaspi, Puerto Princesa, Basuanga, Cauayan, and Tuguegarao, and in Manila to Virac
    • P350 from P250
  • Flights from Cebu to Kalibo, Zamboanga to Tawi-Tawi, Manila to Naga, Manila to San Jose, Cebu to Caticlan, Cebu to Iloilo, and Davao to Zamboanga
    • P300 from P250


The adjustment they seek from CAB would help them temporarily recover their losses from the spike in jet fuel prices. – Rappler.com

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