Asian airfares begin to rise as fuel prices soar

Flying in Asia could be set to get more expensive as the price of jet fuel soars, aviation analysts have warned.

On January 21, Singapore Airlines announced that it would be increasing its fuel surcharge "as a result of the recent sharp and sustained escalation in the price of jet fuel," which now stands at over $110 a barrel.

Prices rose between $3 and $27 (€2.20 and €19.90) per sector, with economy class passengers between Singapore and Europe now paying $128 (€94) in fuel charges and economy class passengers between Singapore and the Americas paying $215 (€158) in charges.

A report from the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) this week suggests that other airlines in the region are expected to follow the carrier's lead, because strong growth in the region allows them to raise prices.

Airlines in Europe and North America, however, may struggle to raise surcharges because of weaker demand and intense competition, said CAPA.

Last week, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said that his airline may raise prices and fuel surcharges if global competitors did the same thing, according to reports from Australia.

Hong Kong's government also approved an application by Cathay Pacific to hike fuel surcharges on long haul flights by 9 percent (to HK$621 / €58.60) and on short haul flights by 11 percent (to HK$143 / €13.50) in February.

Indian airlines Kingfisher and Jet Airways raised their fuel surcharges at the start of the year by up to 200 rupees (€3.20), although the move was restricted to domestic flights only.

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