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China lowers airline fuel surcharges

06-06-2012 14:19 BJT

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Passengers are quite calm towards this year's first airlines fuel surcharge reduction effective on Monday. ICS Reporter Zhang Ting checked out some airline company’s response in Shanghai and more.

Most of the passengers ICS talked with at Hongqiao Airport this morning were unaware the fuel surcharge had changed. It dropped from 150 yuan to 130 yuan for flights longer than 800 kilometers today. The charge for shorter flights also fell from 80 yuan to 70 yuan. Travellers said the fee cut was tiny compared with the price of a plane ticket, so it make no meaningful difference.

Passenger Wang Min said, “Maybe for those who fly regularly, the lowered surcharge would make some difference.”

But the cut makes a big difference to airlines, due to the millions of passengers they carry each year.

Zhang Wu’an with Spring Airlines said, "The lowering of the fuel surcharge can bring down the cost to our passengers by three billion yuan nationwide, and our fuel costs by 700 million yuan in the next 6 months. Fuel makes up some 34 percent of costs for most Chinese airlines. And for a budget airline like us, it can make up 40 percent of our costs. "

This is the first surcharge decrease this year, after two increases in March and April. Some passengers say they want a bigger cut in the future.

Passenger Xiao Changle said, "Prices have gone up more than coming down."

An economics professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University said he expects to see a further reduction in fuel surcharges, possibly within the week.

Professor Chen Xian of Shanghai Jiaotong University said, "There may be and could have been bigger and quicker cuts in fuel surcharge when oil price drops. China now still controls air fares, which is different from many other countries, where fuel surcharge is included in air fare, and it is up to the airline companies to decide and adjust the total charge."

The new rule also says airline tickets for children between two and twelve years old will now be ten yuan cheaper.

 

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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