Airlines to sharply hike fuel surcharges on int’l routes in April

SEOUL-- South Korean airlines are set to sharply raise fuel surcharges on international routes in April due to soaring jet fuel prices, industry sources said Wednesday.

Starting April 1, the surcharge for one-way tickets on international routes will range from 28,600 won (US$23) to 211,900 won, depending on the routes, according to them.

The planned increase will raise the surcharges to the highest Level 14 from the current Level 10, which ranges from 18,000 won to 138,200 won.

In April 2021, rising jet fuel prices forced local carriers to begin imposing fuel surcharges after a one-year hiatus. Fuel surcharges on international routes had stayed at zero since April 2020 due to low oil prices sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Local carriers' surcharges vary on the level of jet fuel prices traded on the Singaporean market.

If the average jet fuel price on the Singapore spot market rises over $1.50 per gallon during the past month, South Korean airlines are allowed to impose fuel surcharges starting one month later.

If jet fuel prices drop below the threshold, no surcharge is collected.

Jet fuel prices averaged $2.86 per gallon on the Singapore market for the one month from Feb. 16 to March 15. The average price is the basis for setting jet fuel surcharges for March.

Meanwhile, fuel surcharges domestic routes will rise to 9,900 won next month from 8,800 won this month.

Industry watchers said air carriers' fuel surcharges are likely to go down in May as oil prices tumble on hopes of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and concerns over waning oil demand in China.

Source: Yonhap News Agency