Thursday, January 22, 2009

HK allows fuel surcharge cut

HONG Kong on Thursday said it had approved the applications by Cathay Pacific and three other airlines to almost halve their fuel surcharges in response to falling oil prices.

The move will cut the carriers' maximum fuel surcharges by 44 per cent to HK$61 (S$12) for short-haul flights and to HK$280 for long-haul flights, a Civil Aviation Department spokesman said in a statement.

The new surcharges at Cathay, All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines and Nepal Airlines will be introduced between Feb 1 and March 31 this year.

'Despite the drop in oil prices, it remains an international practice for airlines to levy passenger fuel surcharges,' the spokesman said.

'When compared with the average amounts of surcharges at international level, the surcharges on the local routes remain at a lower level,' he said.

The spokesman told AFP that it is reviewing similar applications from Dragonair, Thai Airways International and another carrier.

The department said the surcharges were last reviewed at the end of November, when the maximum surcharge levels were set at HK$108 for short-haul flights and HK$499 for long-haul flights.

The aviation industry has been suffering from weakened demand for travel and air cargo services since the financial crisis hit in the second half of last year.