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December 1, 2009

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Higher air fares as fuel fees take off

PASSENGERS will have to pay higher air fares as Air China and several Asian carriers raised fuel surcharges on overseas routes linking the Chinese mainland by as much as 50 percent from this month after the recent increase in jet fuel prices.

Staring today, Air China, the nation's flagship international carrier, increased surcharges on routes linking the mainland with Singapore and Thailand to 300 yuan (US$43.92) from 200 yuan, according to China's biggest online travel service provider

China Southern Airlines, the county's largest carrier by fleet size, raised fuel surcharges on Taiwan routes to 140 yuan from 125 yuan.

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways and its affiliate Dragonair increased fuel surcharges on routes linking Hong Kong with the mainland and south Asian countries by 10 percent.

Asiana Airlines, based in South Korea, will also raise fuel surcharges from 200 yuan to 250 yuan from December 14 on flights from the mainland to South Korea, Japan and southeast Asian countries, and the fees will climb from 500 yuan to 600 yuan on flights linking the mainland with the United States, Europe and Australia.

The surcharges may rise further in the near future because oil prices are still climbing, said Zhang Wei, senior director of

The increase followed those on domestic routes after the National Development and Reform Commission raised jet fuel prices four times this year to 5,190 yuan per ton. The NDRC introduced a mechanism last month that allows domestic carriers to impose fuel surcharges on domestic routes when the jet fuel price hits 4,140 yuan per ton.


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