What pricey fuel? Pinoys will still get on their flights
Revenge spending, coupled with seat sale promos, will continue to boost air travel despite an increase in fuel surcharges on the back of a spike in global oil prices, according to local airlines.
“Based on our day-to-day monitoring, we are not seeing a drop in terms of forward bookings,” Air Asia Philippines spokesperson Steve Dailisan told the Inquirer, noting that passengers remained on “revenge travel” mode following the movement-restricting pandemic.
The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) had approved the applicable fuel surcharge rate at Level 7, the highest according to its recent resolution, beginning June 1.
Fuel surcharges have doubled since May, when the rates were still at Level 4. This means that airlines are now collecting fuel surcharges of P201 to P769 for local flights and P1,035 to P9,892 for international flights per passenger.
Dailisan assured travelers the base fare remained low, allowing the budget carrier to offer seat sales such as the recent “P66 Freedom Sale” promo.
Base fare is the actual amount paid by the passenger for his or her seat. Aside from the base fare, fuel surcharge costs, airport fees and taxes and other ancillary costs (baggage, food) are collected from the passenger.
He said the “trajectory is going up, meaning a lot of people are really traveling” despite the application of fuel surcharges. Most of the flights were to leisure destinations, including Caticlan, Cebu, Kalibo, Tagbilaran and Puerto Princesa, he noted.
“The initiative of adjusting the fuel surcharge cost will greatly help us cushion the effects of the volatile [fuel] pricing,” Dailisan added.
It was crucial because AirAsia Philippines’ “commitment is really to provide our guests with affordable fares,” he said.
Like AirAsia, Cebu Pacific said higher jet fuel prices “necessitate the implementation of the fuel surcharge.”
Still, the Gokongwei-led airline was bullish on its operations with passenger traffic recovering.
“We continue to see strong demand for air travel and Cebu Pacific will keep on stimulating travel through our seat sale activities,” Xander Lao, its chief commercial officer, told the Inquirer.
It also recently offered flight tickets for as low as P12 in celebration of Independence Day.
“We remain committed to keep enabling [everyone] to move forward together from the challenges of the recent years, and remain hopeful that skies will continue to clear, so they can rekindle their love for travel and enjoy the freedom that this experience brings,” said Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific’s vice president for marketing and customer experience.
Philippine Airlines, meanwhile, said it would “follow the formula faithfully,” referring to the fuel surcharge resolution by the CAB.
The flag carrier said this would “cushion the impact of high fuel costs.”
Local airlines have also been ramping up flights to other countries to address increasing demand as international travel returns.
More flights to Indonesia, Dubai, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Osaka and Seoul, among others, will soon be available to passengers from Manila.
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