Wed, Oct 31, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Government has last say on flight ticket prices: CAA

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) yesterday said the government has yet to decide whether it will allow domestic air carriers to raise their ticket prices, adding that it had asked experts to create a formula to calculate reasonable prices.

Domestic flight ticket prices have not been changed for seven years, but the carriers’ operational costs have increased because of higher fuel prices. Media reported recently that the CAA is considering allowing domestic carriers to raise their ticket prices next year by 5 percent to 30 percent.

The agency denied this claim.

The CAA’s air transport division deputy director Han Chen-hua (韓振華) said domestic ticket prices were approved by the government in 2005. However, the furl price has risen from NT$13 per liter then to NT$29 per liter as of this month.

Domestic carriers have asked the CAA to raise ticket prices, while lawmakers have asked it to lower prices to reduce the burden on travelers, he said.

Han said the CAA has completed research on the formula that could be used to determine domestic ticket prices, adding that the formula has yet to be approved by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

"The 30 percent price increase as reported by the media was only an estimate based on airliners’ operational costs in the past,” Han said. “If ticket prices are to be raised, the CAA will formulate complementary measures to lower the impact on domestic passengers. For example, we could consider increasing the subsidy for domestic flights for residents living in remote areas, or lowering the airport surcharge for domestic carriers.”

Han added that the domestic carriers must present their operational costs to the agency after the formula has been approved by the ministry.

The agency would convene a ticket price review committee and use the formula to calculate ticket prices, he said.

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