Emirates plans Filipino route price hikes

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Emirates is planning to increase its fuel surcharge for flights from the Philippines by up to US$40 one way, adding US$170 to the cost of most tickets.

The Dubai flag carrier has applied to the Asian nation’s Civil Aeronautics Board to approve the increased surcharge.

Unlike most countries, the Philippines requires airlines to prove why the increased cost is necessary and to advertise its proposal in a general newspaper at least twice before a decision to approve the new surcharge is made.

Emirates has asked to increase the surcharge on flights from Manila to the Middle East by US$15 to US$155 for economy one-way tickets and by US$30 to US$300 for business class.

For flights to West Asia, the Indian Ocean, Africa and Europe the surcharge would increase by US$15 to US$170 for economy and by $30 to US$330 for business.

Economy flights to the Americas would incur a surcharge of US$175, up $20, while business class seats would be charged a US$340 surcharge, up $40.

The proposed increase comes despite jet fuel prices declining about 2 percent in recent months, to $135.4 per barrel at March 1, according to the International Air Travel Association.

Jet fuel accounts for slightly more than half of an average airline’s operating expenses.

Emirates is yet to detail the reason for its proposed hike but will be required to provide evidence supporting its case during a hearing with the Philippines Civil Aeronautics Board on March 26.

The airline also raised its fuel surcharge 12 months ago.

Then Dubai Civil Aviation president and Emirates chairman Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum said the fuel surcharge was necessary to counteract escalating oil prices, which at the time were about US$25 per barrel lower than presently.

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