Fuel surcharge cut: Cheaper airfare seen by February

Travelers should enjoy cheaper airfare in February after local airlines committed to implementing the fuel surcharge cut mandated by the Civil Aeronautics Board.

In separate advisories on Tuesday, local airlines — Philippine Airlines, AirAsia Philippines, and Cebu Pacific — all acknowledged and vowed to comply with the CAB order to lower air ticket prices.

In an advisory dated 16 January signed by CAB executive director Carmello L. Arcilla, all airlines should implement a Level 6 fuel surcharge starting 1 to 28 February.

It means that passengers buying flight tickets next month will be charged P610.37 for international flights to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, or Brunei. To destinations more than 14,000 kilometers from the Philippines, P4,538.40 charge will be applied.

On the other hand, passengers flying domestic will only be charged around P185 to P665.

A fuel surcharge is a fee assessed by a carrier to account for regional and/or seasonal variations in fuel costs.

According to the CAB, the price of jet fuel averaged P38.92 per liter from 10 December 2022 to 9 January, which is why Level 6 of the Passenger and Cargo Fuel Surcharge Matrix will be implemented.

Amid renewed confidence in air travel, the International Air Transport Association expects airlines to return to profit this year after they suffered losses due to the pandemic starting in 2019.

Forecast data from the industry group said airlines are seen making $4.7 billion in net profits in 2023 as most countries ease travel restrictions.

Passenger traffic may return to 85.5 percent this year from its pre-pandemic level, according to the group.

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