The FINANCIAL — Cathay Pacific Airways has been notified by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD) on November 24 that it is one of the airlines granted approval to adjust its passenger fuel surcharge.
In the case of Cathay Pacific, the adjustment will result in a reduction in fuel surcharges, for a two-month period effective 1 December 2008, to HK$108 (US$13.8) for short-haul services in South and North East Asia and HK$499 (US$64) for long-haul services.
The adjustments represent reductions of 45% and 40% respectively from the current surcharges which are HK$196 (US$25.1) for short-haul services and HK$832 (US$106.7) for long-haul services.
A Cathay Pacific spokesman said: “Airfares have come down substantially over the past few months as a result of market forces and our own tactical promotions, including the World Pass and Getaway Surprise. We believe the reduced fuel surcharges will further help to make air travel and overseas holidays more affordable and attractive.”
Jet fuel costs continue to account for about half of Cathay Pacific's net operating costs so far this year, and the adjustments in fuel surcharges can only offset less than half of the airline’s increased fuel cost.
Cathay Pacific regrets the need to impose fuel surcharge on passengers, but the airline’s fuel surcharges continue to lag far behind those imposed by other international airlines on comparable routes outside Hong Kong. As the CAD has pointed out, the surcharges on local routes remain at a lower level.
Most major airlines currently levy fuel surcharges ranging from US$20 to as much as almost US$100 per short-haul sector, while surcharges in the range of US$100-200 for long-haul flights are not uncommon. Some surcharges are actually higher than US$300.