Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights departing Hong Kong will be getting more expensive with the airlines set to impose a new fuel surcharge of up to HK$652 (US$83.4) that will be added to the price of tickets purchased or re-issued on or after November 2.
The move follows the decision last Friday by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD) to lift its ban on airlines adding fuel charges to tickets for flights departing the city.
Prior to this, airlines could only add fuel surcharges on flights coming into Hong Kong. The CAD had previously scrapped fuel surcharges on flights leaving the city back in February 2016.
Cathay Pacific is the first airline to announce its new fuel surcharges since the CAD’s decision, and these charges are expected to be adjusted each month, the South China Morning Post reports.
Under Cathay’s revised surcharge policy, flights from Hong Kong to destinations in the South West Pacific, North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia will now see the full HK$652 surcharge. All other flights out of Hong Kong will receive a HK$146 additional fee.
Customers will be able to see the new charge in their final price breakdown when booking a ticket.
Along with adding to the cost of purchased tickets, the surcharges will also mean that members of the airline’s Asia Miles rewards programme will now have to pay a sizeable additional fee when making award bookings by redeeming their miles. Currently, these fees are only present when redeeming award tickets on flights arriving in Hong Kong.
Asia Miles members looking to redeem award bookings on flights from Hong Kong without incurring the new surcharge should do so before November 2.
For Cathay Pacific, the additional fees are likely to aid in offsetting rising fuel costs, which have played a notable role in keeping the airline’s finances in the red despite measures to return to profitability.
Back in August, the airline announced that it had narrowed its losses to HK$263 million (US33.5 million) for the first half of 2018 – a notable improvement over its previous HK$2.05 billion loss in the first half of 2017.