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Airline Passenger Fuel Surcharges Adjusted In Hong Kong

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

25 November 2008

Hong Kong's Civil Aviation Department (CAD) has given approval for passenger fuel surcharges levied by four airlines to be reduced for the period from December 1, 2008, to January 31, 2009.

The new maximum levels of fuel surcharges will be HKD108 for short-haul flights and HKD499 for long-haul flights, which represent a reduction of 45% and 40% from the current maximum levels for short-haul flights and long-haul flights respectively.

It is an international practice for airlines to levy passenger fuel surcharges. The current average passenger fuel surcharges for other major international destinations are at levels of about HKD413 per passenger for short-haul flights and about HKD1,256 per passenger for long-haul flights.

A CAD spokesman explained:

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

"Fuel surcharges are a type of aviation tariff which requires the approval of the relevant aeronautical authorities before they can be levied."

According to the CAD, when dealing with the latest applications for levying fuel surcharges, the department has followed the same approach, having regard to changes in the prices of aviation fuel, the justifications provided by the airline operators, and other relevant factors such as the charges levied by other airlines. This approach has been consistently followed in dealing with fuel surcharge applications (which are submitted every two months), regardless of whether the oil prices are on the increase or decrease, the department stated.

The CAD spokesman went on to further remark:

"The CAD has taken into account the need to safeguard the interest of the traveling public as well as the need for airline operators to recoup their costs. When approving fuel surcharges, the CAD will ensure that the revenue generated will not exceed the additional costs borne by the airline operators due to increased fuel prices during the corresponding period."

Passenger fuel surcharges are reviewed and adjusted regularly by the CAD. The last review was done at the end of September when the maximum surcharge levels approved were HKD196 for short-haul flights and HKD832 for long-haul flights.

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