AVIATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Airlines slap fuel surcharge amidst rising oil costs

The most common charge added to ticket cost is $1,304.

Airlines in Hong Kong have been adding as much as $1,624 (US$207) to ticket prices after the industry regulator gave players free rein to slap fuel surcharge in late September in response to rising cost of oil, reports South China Morning Post.

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Of the 84 passenger airlines flying out of Hong Kong, 36 added the fee to their ticket costs, 36 had not yet done so and the remaining 12 did not provide a breakdown of ticket costs, SCMP analysis show.

The most common charge was $1,304 per return trip with ten airlines already incorporating the charge for medium and long-haul trips.

In total, 21 airlines implemented a surcharge for long-haul destinations and 20 carriers enforced the fee for Asian routes.

“Individual airlines should be allowed to make their own commercial decisions on whether to levy a fuel surcharge. The key is to encourage competition and to ensure transparency in price display to facilitate consumers in making informed choices,” a Civil Aviation Department spokesperson told SCMP.

On the other hand, airlines that have yet to add a surcharge include British Airways, Qatar Airways, Finnair, Qantas, United Airlines, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.

“If an airline wants more customers, they can drop the fuel surcharge quickly. That would offer a lot more opportunity for the industry to compete, and consumers to get more value for money,” explained Consumer Council chief executive Gilly Wong.

Photo from Edwin Leong, CC BY-SA 2.0

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