JAL to resume fuel fee on isle flights


POSTED: Thursday, August 20, 2009

Japan Airlines plans to reinstate a fuel surcharge of about $39 one way on tickets between Japan and Hawaii beginning in October.

While travelers and the tourism industry benefited when the carrier suspended its international fuel surcharges from July through September, industry officials say the new charges are unlikely to have significant effects.

The airline said it is raising the surcharge based on an average increase of $16.33 per barrel of oil from May to July.

The surcharge will affect all flights from October to December, including JAL code-share flights.

“;As compared to the $220 fuel surcharge paid by visitors for round-trip travel at the peak (last year), this increase is affordable,”; said Akio Hoshino, senior vice president for Jalpak International Hawaii.

“;The economy and swine flu are larger concerns.”;

Starting in April, the surcharges were incorporated into the overall tour package price, so consumers may not feel as much of an effect, said David Uchiyama, vice president of sales for the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

“;It won't be readily apparent to the consumer, but it will affect the tour operators who are absorbing the cost,”; Uchiyama said.

Other destinations also are grappling with the impending increase.

JAL will increase surcharges for more than 20 other destinations, with the highest surcharges tacked onto travel between Japan and Brazil, as well as Canada, Europe, Mexico, the mainland, the Middle East and Oceania.

The airline is expected to make a decision on surcharges for the beginning of next year based on the average cost of fuel from August to October.