Starting Feb. 1, airline passengers will no longer pay fuel surcharges for flights originating from Hong Kong, the Civil Aviation Department said.
The CAD said the surcharges are no longer warranted because aviation fuel prices have fallen considerably and stabilized to a reasonable level in recent months, Apple Daily reported.
The fuel surcharges will remain suspended until further notice, the department said.
Legislator Wayne Yiu Si-wing, who represents the tourism functional constituency, said international oil prices have slumped to under US$30 a barrel, which is lower than the prices in 2003, making fuel surcharges unreasonable.
Worldwide Package Travel Service director Yuen Chun-ning said the surcharges have been greatly reduced in recent years, with passengers being asked to pay a fee of only HK$48 for short-haul flights.
Yuen said the small savings are unlikely to spur outbound travel, adding that passengers may need some time to adjust if surcharges are reinstated in the future.
Huen Kwok-chuen, executive director at EGL Holdings Co. Ltd., said the suspension of fuel surcharges only applies to tickets issued from Feb. 1. Customers would be able to collect the fuel surcharge refund before the end of their journey.
Tickets issued before Feb. 1 will not be entitled to a surcharge refund, even if their departure dates are on Feb. 1 or later, Huen said.
Cathay Pacific (00293.HK) said it has ceased applying to authorities for fuel surcharges but will continue to monitor oil prices. Hong Kong Airlines said it will comply with the CAD guidelines.
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