China Airlines hikes fuel surcharge for Hong Kong flights

Taipei-Taiwan's China Airlines is raising the fuel surcharge it charges on flights to Hong Kong by an additional US$2.10 in response to the rise in global crude oil prices over the past few months.

Starting Feb. 1, China Airlines and subsidiary Mandarin Airlines will charge a US$14.90 fuel surcharge for each leg of the Taiwan-Hong Kong trip, up from the previous US$12.80, according to the Taiwanese carrier.

It will be the second time this year that China Airlines increases its fuel surcharge for Hong Kong-bound flights, after a US$1.90 hike went into effect on Jan. 1.

Airlines keep a close watch on fuel costs because of their importance in a carrier's overall cost structure.

Though they may account for less than 30 percent of an airline's operating costs when fuel prices are low, they can account for over 40 percent of operating costs when fuel prices are high.

Taiwan's other major international airline, EVA Airways, said it is still deciding how big of a surcharge it will impose.

Oil prices recently hit a three-year high, and they continue to rise, with March futures reaching US$66.14 for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude and US$70.52 for a barrel of Brent crude.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel