Airlines Raise Ticket Prices to Cover Fuel Costs

High global oil prices have forced airlines to slightly increase ticket prices, airline representatives said Friday.

Some ticket prices for Korean Air, Thai Airways, Vietnam Air and First Cambodia Airlines have risen anywhere from $5 to $15 for a one-way ticket since Tuesday. Some travel agents fear the in­crease may drive away tourists, though airlines were confident that the higher prices would not effect sales.

“It is just a little rise,” said Thack Uk, operations manager for First Cambodia Airlines. “It won’t hurt the airline industry.”

First Cambodia increased its ticket prices $5 on its Phnom Penh-Singapore flight to cover the rising fuel costs. Business is going so well for the airline, which flew its inaugural flight earlier this year, that it plans to add another plane in the near future.

“We will definitely add one more aircraft,” Thack Uk said.

Meng Phalla, managing director of P-I Travel, said the higher ticket prices have not hurt his business. Compared to the same time last year, bookings are up 25 percent this year, he said.

“This year is much better than last year,” Meng Phalla said. “No one asks about severe acute respiratory syndrome or bird flu anymore.”

But others say that the timing of the price increase is particularly painful.

“During the low tourist season, there should be some promotions to attract tourists,” said Dee Long, managing director of Angkor Civ­ilization Travel. “It makes no sense to increase fuel surcharge prices during the low season.”



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