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March 18, 2015

SUN STAR CEBU: Cut base fares, legislator tells airlines

BESIDES scrapping their fuel surcharges, commercial airlines operating in the countryshould slash their base fares with the 40 percent plunge in jet fuel prices, House DeputyMinority Leader and LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty said Sunday.“Fuel costs comprise some 50 percent of an airline’s operating expense, so they aredefinitely making more money due to the steep drop in jet fuel prices. They now havegreater  leeway  to  reduce  base  fares,”  said  Ty,  a  senior  member  of  the  Housetransportation committee.“This basically implies that if an airline used to spend P1 million to operate a flight, thesame flight now costs to only P800,000 to run, assuming all other non-fuel expensesare constant,” Ty said.Budget Filipino air travelers, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), deserve tobenefit from declining oil prices and cheaper air fares, Ty said.Philippine Overseas Employment Administration statistics show that more than 5,000Filipinos fly out of the country every day to work abroad. This figure does not include thenumber of OFWs returning home, who also stand to gain from lower air fares, accordingto Ty.

Meanwhile, Ty urged the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to ascertain which airlines haveactually abolished their  fuel  surcharges, ranging from as low as P500 per domesticpassenger to as high as P18,000 per international traveler.“We’ve received complaints that a number of airlines have supposedly decided to scraptheir  fuel  surcharge  via  installment,  rather  than  all  at  once.  Other  airlines  havepurportedly removed the surcharge on certain flights, but kept the extra fee on otherflights,” Ty said. (PR)Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 16, 2015.

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