KUALA LUMPUR (March 5): AirAsia Malaysia is bringing back fuel surcharges starting next Tuesday (March 8) to all its domestic and international flights to offset escalating jet fuel prices that it said had exceeded US$120 (about RM501.36) per barrel.
In a statement on Saturday, AirAsia Malaysia said it had not been charging fuel surcharges since it was abolished in 2015 when global fuel prices were as low as US$48 per barrel, and that the airline had been absorbing the oil price increase over the years while other carriers adjusted fares and increased fuel and admin charges to counter rising operating costs as early as 2018.
"Unfortunately, the current situation where the oil price has shot up more than 160% than what it was in 2015 has made it no longer sustainable," said AirAsia Malaysia chief executive officer Riad Asmat.
“Airlines the world over are affected by the rising oil price and the continuous upward spiral caused by the situation in Eastern Europe and other external factors have made it imperative for us to reintroduce the fuel surcharge despite our best efforts to resist it for as long as we could," he said.
The reintroduced fuel surcharges will be applicable to new flight bookings made on and after March 8, the airline said. All bookings made prior to that will not be affected.
“We hope this will only be a temporary measure. AirAsia will continue to ensure our fares remain as low as possible despite the fuel surcharge while other carriers were already adjusting fares and increasing fuel and admin charges to counter rising operating costs as early as 2018. Even when faced with the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, we still managed to deflect the rising operational costs and continued to offer low fares to the people.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and at the same time capitalise on technological and digital innovations as ways to keep costs at bay and make air travel affordable for everyone," said Riad.
According to the airline, the fuel surcharge was first introduced in 2005 due to escalating jet fuel prices. Abolished in 2008, it was brought back in 2011, then abolished again in 2015.
AirAsia Malaysia's fuel surcharge rates effective March 8, 2022: