Air fares to go down next month

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
Air fares to go down next month
Passengers crowd the departure lobby while others set up camp inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City on Monday midnight, Jan. 2, 2023 as the influx of passengers still builds up despite announcements made by Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista that the airport is back to normal operations around 5:50 PM on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. Numerous flights were canceled earlier due to a technical glitch and the power outage at the Air Traffic Management Center of the NAIA.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — Travelers planning to go out of town for the summer season should start booking their flights in February, as airlines will reduce their ticket prices in line with the government order to cut fuel surcharge.

Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific and AirAsia Philippines all confirmed to The STAR that they will comply with the government’s order to slash fuel surcharge to Level 6 in February.

With this, PAL, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia Philippines said that travelers can expect ticket rates to go down as well, encouraging them to book their summer flights in February.

PAL spokesman Cielo Villaluna said the flag carrier would comply with the order issued by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to decrease fuel surcharge in February. As such, she asked guests to take advantage of this price reduction by securing their flights next month.

“We acknowledge and we will comply with the lowered fuel surcharge matrix that takes effect for next month’s ticket purchases. We appreciate our customers’ loyalty and we are also committed to continue supporting the nation as its flag carrier,” Villaluna said.

Cebu Pacific president and chief commercial officer Xander Lao said the drop in fuel surcharge supports airlines in their effort to improve the demand for air travel in the pandemic aftermath.

“It is a very promising trend, which signals increased affordability of air travel. We hope that this encourages passengers and their families and friends to travel more this year. Cebu Pacific, for its part, is excited to offer even lower fares for every Juan,” Lao said.

AirAsia Philippines spokesman Carlo Carongoy said the low-cost carrier expects flight bookings to go up leading to the summer season, especially as the fuel surcharge keeps on going down.

“In fact, the load factor for the month of January is now at 85 percent – meaning at least eight in every 10 seats offered are booked – and is still increasing. We expect to sustain the momentum next month as we continue growing our fleet,” Carongoy said.

Airlines are trying to recoup the losses they incurred from the airspace shutdown that disrupted their flights on New Year’s Day due to the loss of communication and power at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

PAL, for instance, had to cancel about 300 flights affecting more than 24,000 passengers as a result of the system failure.

In an advisory, CAB trimmed the fuel surcharge that airlines can pass on to their passengers to Level 6 in February from Level 7 in January.

As a result, airlines may only impose a fuel surcharge of P185 to P665 for domestic flights and P610.37 to P4,538.40 for international trips.

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