Airlines hike surcharge amid rise in fuel price


SANGAM PRASAIN 0
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KATHMANDU, MAY 10 –

Domestic airlines have passed on increased fuel prices to their passengers in the form of a hike in the fuel surcharge.

The Airlines Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) decided on Sunday to implement its new fuel surcharge schedule from May 16 after Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) jacked up the price of air turbine fuel (ATF) from Rs 90 to Rs 100 per litre on Saturday.

Domestic carriers had increased the fuel surcharge twice last year. However, the latest increment will be much bigger than earlier ones. Private air operators said that the price of an air ticket would swell by Rs 225 to Rs 750.

“This time, the increment in fuel surcharge has been higher than before as we didn’t raise the fuel surcharge in March when NOC had hiked the price of aviation fuel by Rs 10 per litre,” said Rupesh Joshi, senior marketing manager at Buddha Air.

Airlines that did not increase the fuel surcharge last March said that with the continuous rise in the price of fuel, there was no option but to raise the fuel surcharge. “With the price of fuel going up again, we will have to pass on the additional burden to consumers this time,” said Prajwol Thapa, marketing manager of Guna Airlines. The AOAN had increased the surcharge from Rs 60 to Rs 180 in February 2010. On Dec. 6, the fuel surcharge went up again when NOC increased the price of ATF by Rs 5 per litre to Rs 80. The AOAN then had increased the fuel surcharge by Rs 60 to Rs 80.

Domestic airlines in February had hiked ticket prices amid rising operating costs, but were forced to roll them back after passenger volume declined by 30 percent. Airfares had been increased by 14-19 percent then.

According to carriers, fuel accounts for 25-30 percent of their operating cost. “We are compelled to hike the surcharge to adjust our operating cost,” said Thapa.

Destination Existing surcharge Proposed hike

Dhangadhi 3875 775

Mountain flight 3750 750

Nepalgunj 2935 585

Bhadrapur 2750 550

Biratnagar 2310 460

Bhairahawa 060 410

Pokhara 1685 335

Janakpur 1500 300

Bharatpur 1310 260

Simara 1125 225

Change in Fuel Surcharge

Time Change

May 2011 Rs 225-755

Feb 2010 Rs 60-180

Dec 2010 Rs 60-80

AOAN outcry over ATF price hike

KATHMANDU: Airlines Operators’ Association of Nepal (AOAN) has drawn the attention of the government and Nepal Oil Corporation over the ATF price hike. The umbrella organisation of private air operators said the government’s move to hike ATF price to adjust NOC’s losses without adjusting the fuel price in line with the international market price is illogical and hurts air travellers. In a press statement, AOAN said ATF is only the petroleum product that NOC has been enjoying profit in, and increasing its price repeatedly eyeing more profit is transferring the burden to consumers and discouraging them to travel.

Posted on: 2011-05-10 09:13

From Kantipur daily

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