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Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.
Airlines to Raise Fuel Surcharges on Int'l Flights

China's three major airlines will raise fuel surcharges on international flights from next week.


The increase, due to start after October 1, will vary depending on the destination and airline.


There are conflicting views on the increase in that some travel agents believe the increase should affect overseas tour packages only after the week-long National Day holiday which starts tomorrow, while ticket agencies in Beijing say that airlines have already started charging higher levies on jet fuel.


"The surcharge per passenger for a round trip to Europe has been increased by 200 to 300 yuan (US$25-37) starting from today," according to Beijing ticket agent He Hua.


According to He, the surcharge for a Beijing-Moscow return ticket with Air China was 1,297 yuan (US$162) on Friday, an increase of 361 yuan (US$45) from the day before.


But the airline has not increased the surcharge on flights to Bangkok.


Also raising surcharges are China Eastern and China Southern. And US carrier Northwest Airlines has done so for flights from Beijing to Tokyo.


"The surcharge for flights to Tokyo will increase by US$30-40, which is a factor we cannot overlook nowadays as the whole industry is seeing lower profit levels," said Lin Kang, who works with China International Travel Service.


Tickets to East or South Asia typically cost about 4,000 yuan (US$500), and at least 10,000 yuan (US$1,250) to Europe and America.


Citing soaring international oil prices, China’s civil aviation regulator has already raised the surcharge on domestic flights twice this year. The surcharge for every passenger who flies less than 800 kilometers is now 60 yuan (US7.5), double the previous 30 yuan (US$3.7). For longer flights, the surcharge is 100 yuan (US$12.5), up from 60 yuan (US$7.5).


The surcharge for international flights is decided by the airlines themselves, not the regulator. But since most mainland airlines posted losses in the first half of this year, largely due to surging fuel prices, airlines are expected to use the new surcharges to try to boost profits.


(China Daily September 30, 2006)


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