Airline fuel surcharges to go up from Tuesday

The Airlines Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) said on Sunday that it would raise the fuel surcharge from Tuesday in line with an increase in aviation fuel prices.

The extra charge added to the cost of an air ticket has been hiked from Rs45 to Rs220 depending on distance. The government controls the price of a plane ticket while airlines are allowed to fix the surcharge if fuel prices fluctuate by at least Rs4 per litre.

Fuel surcharges are normally charged to passengers to cover part of the cost increases that are associated with jumps in the price of aviation fuel.

Following the revision, a seat on a flight from Kathmandu to Dhangadhi, the longest domestic route, will cost Rs12,320 including a fuel surcharge of Rs3,840 and airport tax of Rs200. A ticket on the shortest flight, Kathmandu-Simara, has gone up to Rs3,050, including a fuel surcharge of Rs780 and airport tax of Rs200.

Last Friday, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) increased the price of aviation fuel sold to domestic airlines by Rs5 per litre to Rs87 per litre. This is the first time this year that airlines have increased the fuel surcharge. Last July, domestic airlines had reduced fuel surcharges by Rs40 to Rs181.

Ghanshyam Acharya, spokesperson for the AOAN, said the hike in the fuel surcharge would not create a big impact for travellers as airfares have become relatively competitive nowadays. The normal airfare may be high, but travellers have choices as airlines have been providing ‘special airfares’ due to surplus air seats.

Figures issued by Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) show that domestic airline passenger traffic jumped 45.87 percent to 1.28 million during the January-July period.

According to the statistics, domestic carriers received 403,487 additional fliers in the first seven months of 2017 compared to the same period last year. The figure includes helicopter passengers. Meanwhile, domestic flight movements swelled 37.68 percent in the first seven months of this year.

The 18 domestic airlines consisting of nine fixed-wing and an equal number of rotor-wing carriers made 49,894 flights.

The Nepali skies recorded an average of 238 domestic flights daily.

After witnessing a constant fall in passenger numbers in the last four years, the domestic aviation sector rebounded strongly in 2016, recording an all-time high air traveller movement.

Source: Civil Aviation Authority, Qatar