Wed, Jan 14, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Despite low oil prices, flying still costly


The price of domestic air tickets should be lowered in response to the falling price of aviation fuel, the Consumers’ Foundation said yesterday.

The foundation recommended that ticket prices be lowered by 18 percent, saying the cost of aviation fuel, which accounts for 40 percent of an airline’s total costs, had fallen as much as 45 percent from an average price of NT$29.27 per liter in the second half of last year to NT$16.09.

The Taipei-based Consumers Foundation said local airline operators, which hiked their ticket prices in June 2005 when international crude oil prices were on the rise, had made no mention of lowering their prices, even though the price of aviation fuel was now lower than it had been at the time of the hikes, when a liter of fuel cost NT$16.49.

For example, a full-price ticket from Taipei to Kinmen offered by UNI Airways Corp (立榮航空), a subsidiary of Taiwan-based EVA Air Corp (長榮航空), now cost NT$2,200, or NT$204 more than three years ago, the foundation said.

The foundation suggested that the price of a ticket from Taipei to Penghu be lowered to between NT$1,468 and NT$1,681, from NT$1,790 and NT$2,050 at present.

Flights to Kinmen should be cut to between NT$1,712 and NT$1,820 per ticket, from between NT$2,088 and NT$2,220, while flights to Matsu should cost NT$1,609 per ticket, it said.

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