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Asia-Pacific airlines have begun raising fuel surcharges as crude oil prices soar towards the US$50-a-barrel level, threatening the carriers' profits just as they are rebounding from last year's Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) crisis.
TURBULENCE is forecast for the profits of the airline sector despite higher passenger numbers as rising costs from higher fuel prices are matched against the pressure of lower air fares with the swarm of new budget carriers taking off all around Asia.
The government may reduce the amount of subsidies for petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to offset its financial burden and funnel the money towards development projects instead, government sources said on Thursday.