AIR FARES are set to go down next month as the aviation regulator reduced the allowable fuel surcharge that airlines may implement for September and October.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) issued an advisory on Thursday notifying local carriers it is scaling down allowable surcharge from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31 to Level 2 from Level 3. A Level 2 fuel surcharge means airlines may charge an additional P45-P171 for domestic flights and P218-2,076 for international flights, depending on flight distance. The Level 3 surcharge it implemented in June to July allowed airlines to charge an additional P74-P291 for domestic flights and P381-P3,632 for international flights.

CAB cited a lower price of jet fuel in June-July, averaging $78.54 per barrel or P25.29 per liter. In the April-May period — which it used as basis for the allowable surcharge in June-July — the price of jet fuel averaged $82.96 per barrel or P27.24 per liter.

Prior to yesterday’s announcement, CAB Executive Director Carmelo L. Arcilla told reporters on Wednesday that the price of jet fuel in the world market has been easing recently. “May trend na pababa in the past two months. We will come up with the advisory… pero mukang pababa [There’s a trend in the past two months of a reduction in jet fuel price. We will come up with the advisory, but it looks like it’s going down],” he said.

Every two months, the CAB issues a notice on allowable fuel surcharge that airlines may implement, based on a surcharge matrix it has regularly released starting September last year.

The system is designed to help carriers mitigate the impact of fluctuating jet fuel prices. Airlines that want to impose the allowable fuel surcharge must file an application with CAB. — Denise A. Valdez