Wed, Feb 27, 2013 - Page 3 News List

CAA proposes raising price of domestic flights

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Airplanes are shrouded in fog on the apron of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday morning.

Photo: CNA

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) yesterday confirmed that it plans to raise domestic flight fares this year and is proposing that the government, flight operators and passengers share the burden of the price hike.

Prior to making its decision, the agency enlisted a team from National Chiao Tung University to devise a new formula to calculate a reasonable price for local flights.

The agency said that domestic fares have not changed since 2004, when the price of oil was approximately NT$13.6 per liter. However, oil prices have more than doubled since then, causing all domestic flight operators to incur financial losses.

CAA statistics showed that international oil prices have been approximately NT$28 per liter for most of the time since 2010.

According to the new pricing formula, all domestic carriers are undercharging their passengers, prompting the agency to say it would allow airlines to adjust fares for domestic routes.

The formula proposed by the CAA still has to be approved by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. After it is approved, flight operators would be required to present their adjusted fares to the agency for review.

The agency added that since the prices of consumer goods have also risen drastically in recent years, the burden of the fare increase should also be shouldered by the government and the airlines to reduce the impact on passengers.

The CAA proposed that the government cover more of the cost for flights in the nation’s remote areas or outlying islands, adding that the government should also consider lowering takeoff and landing fees or offer subsidies to carriers operating these unprofitable flight services.

In related news, Taoyuan International Airport Corp said the thick fog that appeared on Monday night had lowered the visibility on two runways in the nation’s largest international airport and consequently affected the departure and landing of several flights.

As of 4pm yesterday, 97 flights had been affected by the fog.

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