TRAVELERS should enjoy cheaper airfare in February. This is because local airlines have committed to implementing the fuel surcharge cut that the Civil Aeronautics Board had mandated.
In separate advisories on Tuesday, local airlines — Philippine Airlines, AirAsia Philippines, and Cebu Pacific — all acknowledged and vowed to comply with the CAB order to lower air ticket prices.
In an advisory dated 16 January, CAB executive director Carmello L. Arcilla said all airlines should implement a Level 6 fuel surcharge starting 1 to 28 February.
This means that passengers buying flight tickets next month will be charged P610.37 for international flights to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, or Brunei, according to CAB. To destinations more than 14,000 kilometers from the Philippines, it said a P4,538.40 charge will be applied.
On the other hand, passengers flying domestic will only be charged around P185 to P665.
A fuel surcharge is a fee that a carrier imposes to account for regional and/or seasonal variations in fuel costs.
According to CAB, the price of jet fuel averaged P38.92 per liter from 10 December 2022 to 9 January. This is why the Level 6 of the Passenger and Cargo Fuel Surcharge Matrix will be implemented.
Return to profit
Amid the renewed confidence in air travel, the International Air Transport Association expects airlines to return to profit this year after they suffered losses due to the pandemic that started in 2019.
Forecast data from the industry group said airlines would make $4.7 billion in net profits in 2023 as most countries eased travel restrictions.
The group added that passenger traffic may return to 85.5 percent this year from its pre-pandemic level.
The lower airfares may help fuel the drive of Filipinos to travel this year.
In November, the London-based World Travel & Tourism Council said Philippine jet setters will be among the biggest travel spenders in the next 12 months based on its global survey.
It also found that appetite for international travel has reached its highest point since the pandemic began.