Singapore’s green levy spells higher flight costs

PETALING JAYA: Flight tickets out of Singapore will become costlier with the imposition of a green levy on airlines, but paying higher prices is not new to Malaysians, say travel industry experts.

They also believe returning Malaysians may switch to alternatives like travelling by train or bus to save on costs.

Singapore’s plan to shift towards green jet fuel in 2026 will be just another challenge for the tourism industry, said stakeholders.

The industry must be ready to adapt to new challenges with issues in carbon emissions, said Uzaidi Udanis, chairman of the Consortium of Inbound Tourism Alliance.

“This is part of the concerns or problems of the future because of environmental issues.

“There will be extra charges imposed on tickets, and it will affect Malaysia. But paying higher prices is not new to Malaysians; they have seen fuel surcharges and increases in insurance before.

“Bio-fuel prices are also unstable, but buses can provide a more economical alternative,” he said.

Uzaidi added that Malaysians could also use trains for travelling to and from Singapore.

Although Malaysians may not be as concerned about carbon emissions, the country and its people will eventually have to comply with worldwide green initiatives, he said.

Melaka Tourism Association president Madeline WL Kuah said travel charges will definitely rise as they will be included in the costs of the flight ticket, in all classes. As such, flying may become a luxury travel.

“Alternatively, people can use trains, coaches or even MPVs,” she said.

She said Singapore’s move may also benefit Malaysia.

“Malaysian airports will also be the best place to fly from, with more competitive airfares,” she said.

Kuala Lumpur Tourist Guides Association secretary Anbarasu Sundram, however, hopes Malaysia will also emulate Singapore in green initiatives.

“As tourist guides, we can convey positive stories to tourists as long as the country takes a transparent lead.

“We should be moving ahead in research and development to increase the percentage of vegetable oil content for energy sources.

“We continue to think that the fossil oil supply is eternal, but this is a narrow way of thinking, especially when Gulf countries are also preparing for such an eventuality,” he said.

Recently, Singapore announced that a new green jet fuel levy will be imposed on departing travellers from 2026, as flights will have to use more expensive sustainable aviation fuel.

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