Travelers planning to book a summer trip can expect airfares to remain the same in April, as the government made no changes in the fuel surcharge that airlines can pass on.

In an advisory, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) declared that it will keep the fuel surcharge at Level 6 in April, making no adjustments to the pass-on fee shouldered by passengers.

According to the tracker of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), prices of jet fuel have declined by four percent to $107.86 per barrel as of March 15, from a month ago.

Despite this, CAB decided to maintain the fuel surcharge at Level 6, meaning airlines can slap an additional P185 to P665 for domestic flights. Furthermore, carriers can impose a fuel surcharge of P610.37 to P4,538.4 for international trips.

CAB directed airlines that will collect the fuel surcharge to file an application before the agency before April. CAB also instructed operators transacting in foreign currency to use an exchange rate of P56.01 to $1 in computing their fuel surcharge.

For 2024, IATA believes the worsening geopolitical tensions and growing product shortages will lead to a spike in petroleum prices.

IATA listed the Red Sea crisis as one of the risks that could raise jet fuel prices, saying it disrupts trade flow between the eastern and western economies.

Houthi pirates from Yemen are launching attacks on trading vessels crossing the Red Sea, one of the most critical corridors between Asia and Europe.

The largest airlines in the Philippines also expect jet fuel costs to remain elevated in 2024, as the world faces a new wave of geopolitical conflicts in Ukraine and in Gaza. Worse, they also suffer from supply issues on delays in aircraft and parts production.

Fortunately, airlines are benefiting from a demand boom for air travel locally and abroad. Filipinos appear to be unaffected by the rising cost of mobility, as they book flights not only to visit tourist destinations, but also to attend overseas events.

For instance, low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific saw a 41 percent jump in passenger count for Manila flights to Singapore in the first week of March, as Filipinos went out to see Taylor Swift sing live in the lone Southeast Asian stop of her multi-country Eras tour.

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines also gained from the Swift storm, with passenger numbers during the concert period up by 20 percent compared to a year ago.

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