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Airfares to go down next month

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
Airfares to go down next month
In an advisory, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said it is cutting the fuel surcharge to Level 5 starting February from Level 6 this month.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos planning to go on summer trips may start booking their flights next month to take advantage of cheaper airfares as the government cut the fuel surcharge for the second month in a row.

In an advisory, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said it is cutting the fuel surcharge to Level 5 starting February from Level 6 this month.

This marks the second consecutive month that CAB has adjusted the fuel surcharge downward, giving Filipinos elbow room to book their flights at a lower cost.

Under CAB’s matrix, Level 5 means that airlines can collect a fuel surcharge of P151 to P543 for domestic flights and P498.03 to P3,703.11 for international trips.

Carriers were also instructed by CAB to use a conversion rate of P55.64 to $1 in February for fuel surcharge to be paid in foreign currency.

Filipinos are paying a higher airfare this month, as the fuel surcharge is presently pegged at Level 6. At this level, airlines are allowed to impose a fuel surcharge of P185 to P542 for local travel and P610.37 to P4,538.4 for overseas flights.

As a protocol, operators planning to collect the fuel surcharge have to file their application with CAB before February.

For the week ending Jan. 12, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that prices of jet fuel declined by 28 percent to $106.78 per barrel compared to a month ago.

For the year, IATA estimates that the price of jet fuel will hover at $113.8 per barrel. It sees rates remaining high as the cost of refining oil for aviation use is expected to stay expensive.

In the Philippines, the country’s biggest airlines are welcoming the new year looking forward to the opportunity of regaining their pre-pandemic capacities.

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is hiring additional cabin crew members to serve the growing passenger volume here and abroad.

Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific is spending P50 billion for capital expenditures, mainly for the acquisition of new aircraft. For 2024, Cebu Pacific hopes to grow its seats by up to eight percent, which will allow it to exceed its pre-pandemic high.

However, both PAL and Cebu Pacific are facing problems on the supply end, worsened by delays in aircraft delivery and disruptions in jet repair.

Airlines may include the fuel surcharge in the airfares of their passengers to cover for the losses they sustain from price fluctuations in jet fuel.

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