THE CIVIL Aeronautics Board (CAB) announced on Thursday that it will maintain the airline fuel surcharge at Level 6 for May.

Low-cost airlines anticipate this decision will support the high demand for air travel.

At Level 6, the domestic passenger surcharge ranges from P185 to P665, while the international surcharge varies from P610.37 to P4,538.40.

The applicable conversion rate for May is P55.97 to a dollar, the CAB said in an advisory.

The airline fuel surcharge is an optional fee collected and imposed by airlines to recover fuel costs. It is based on movements in jet fuel prices using a benchmark known as MoPS (Mean of Platts Singapore).

“Airlines wishing to impose or collect fuel surcharge for the same period must file their application with this office on or before the effectivity period, with fuel surcharge rates not exceeding the above-stated level,” CAB Executive Director Carmelo L. Arcilla said.

In a statement, low-cost carrier AirAsia Philippines said that maintaining the current level of fuel surcharge is expected to contribute positively to its performance during the period.

“The non-movement in the fuel surcharge will continue to have a positive contribution to AirAsia’s performance. This as AirAsia’s first-quarter performance has seen the number of seats sold increase by 91% at 1.87 million versus the airline’s target. Load factor in the same manner has also increased by 104%,” it said.

Gokongwei-led budget carrier Cebu Pacific said the steady fuel surcharge would support the high demand for air travel.

“With fuel surcharges holding steady, we anticipate that high demand for air travel will be sustained. We continue to encourage guests to book early to avail of affordable fares,” Cebu Pacific President Alexander G. Lao said in a Viber message.

BusinessWorld also reached out to flag carrier Philippine Airlines for comment but did not receive a response by the deadline. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave