Airline fuel surcharges premature – solon

By Ellson A. Quismorio | Manila Bulletin

Not so fast.

Surigao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Johnny Pimentel on Wednesday warned the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) against hastily authorizing commercial airlines to impose fuel surcharges on its passengers.

“The last time the CAB allowed fuel surcharges, airlines were collecting anywhere from P500 per domestic passenger to $400 per international passenger,” recalled Pimentel, a member of the House Committee on Transportation.

“The CAB should hold the horses for now. It is a bit premature for the extra charges,” the Mindanao lawmaker said.

The additional charges would hurt the estimated 25 million Filipinos relying on domestic air travel every year, Pimentel noted.

The solon, who chairs the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability, said new charges would also weigh down on the 7,000 Filipino contract workers – new hires as well as rehires – leaving the country every day for overseas employment.

The CAB is set to hear on July 10 petitions for airlines to renew fuel surcharges. If approved, the surcharges would be tucked into ticket prices and shouldered by passengers.

According to airline companies, they need to impose add-on charges to help them pay for rising aviation fuel costs. They cited the current surge in world oil prices.

Pimentel, however, said airlines are still in a position to absorb the higher fuel costs.

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