TOKYO - Japan's two largest airlines said Friday that they may scrap their fuel surcharges on international flights, a move they hope will boost demand during the recession.
Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways are considering reducing the surcharge to zero from July if average jet fuel prices stay below US$60 a barrel, officials at the two carriers told AFP.
Jet fuel prices have averaged US$57.90 (S$87.35) per barrel so far in 2009, down nearly 60 percent compared with a year ago, although they have turned higher again recently, according to the International Air Transport Association.
Both airlines said they would announce a final decision on surcharges when they report their annual earnings results next month.
The surcharge, which was last reduced from April 1, now stands at 3,500 yen (S$53.55) on routes to Europe and North America for both carriers.
The global aviation industry has been battered by the economic downturn and airlines are hoping that the end to fuel surcharges will encourage more people to take to the skies.
"Travel demand has fallen quite a bit over the past three months, so hopefully with the zero fuel surcharge it will pick up," said Japan Airlines spokesman Hisanori Iizuka.