Politics

Flight fuel surcharge to further decline in February

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Airplanes are seen on the runway at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE CIVIL Aeronautics Board (CAB) is further lowering the fuel surcharge for domestic and international flights for February, reflecting the drop in jet fuel prices.

In an advisory, CAB said the fuel surcharge for Feb. 1-28 will be lowered to Level 6, after the average price of jet fuel stood at P38.92 per liter between Dec. 10 and Jan. 9.

The average jet fuel price during the period was 6% lower than the average of P41.50 per liter between Nov. 10 and Dec. 9, 2022, which corresponded to Level 7 in the matrix.

Under Level 6, passengers will have to pay a fuel surcharge of between P185 and P665 for domestic flights, and between P610.37 and P4,538.40 for international flights.

At the current Level 7, passengers are paying a fuel surcharge of between P219 and P739 for domestic flights and between P722.71 and P5,373.69 for international flights.

“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 6],” CAB Executive Director Carmelo L. Arcilla said in an advisory released on Tuesday.

Sought for comment, low-cost carrier AirAsia Philippines welcomed the CAB’s decision to lower the fuel surcharge.

“The lowering of the fuel surcharge, along with AirAsia’s regular promotions such as the ongoing a-Access which enables AirAsia guests to enjoy exclusive offers from our partner merchants in select destinations, are proven effective in sustaining the pent-up demand for air travel as reflected in the forward bookings for 0-90 days,” the airline said in a statement.

The low-cost airline also said that its load factor for the month of January is now at 85% and “still increasing.”

“We expect to sustain the momentum next month as we continue growing our fleet.”

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines said separately that it will implement the lower fuel surcharge.

“We appreciate our customers’ loyalty, and we are committed to continuing supporting the nation as its flag carrier,” Philippine Airlines Spokesperson Cielo C. Villaluna said in a phone message.

Cebu Pacific President and Chief Commercial Officer Xander Lao said this is the second consecutive month that the fuel surcharge has dropped.

“It is a very promising trend, which signals increased affordability of air travel,” he said in a statement when sought for comment.

“We hope this encourages passengers and their families and friends to travel more in 2023. Cebu Pacific is excited to offer even lower fares for EveryJuan,” he added.

The Department of Tourism is hoping to attract 4.8 million international visitors this year. The Philippines logged 2.65 million international arrivals last year 2022, beating the 1.7 million target. — Arjay L. Balinbin