Japan Airlines seeks to raise Hawaii fares by 13%
Japan Airlines, one of the biggest carrier of tourists to Hawai'i from Japan, said it wants to raise air fares on the route by 13 percent.
The JAL Group said it's applied for an increase to take effect on April 1, as part of filing for increases in its international fares with the Japanese Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism.
The increase may be further bad news for local companies relying on Japanese tourists. Japan's economic problems, along with high air fares and other factors, have resulted in the number of visitors falling by 10 percent this year through November. Japan is the largest foreign market for Hawai'i's tourism industry.
The fare increase would apply to departures from Japan, and also applies to flights by Japan Airlines to Mainland destinations. Separately, it requested a 10 percent fare hike for India and Korea and a 7 percent increase for other destinations in Asia. A business class roundtrip ticket to Hawai'i would rise from the current 548,900 yen , or $6,052, to 620,100 yen, or $6,839, based on today's exchange rate.
JAL Group said it would be deciding on fare adjustments for travel from Japan to Europe, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand by sometime in February.
The fare increase comes after an announcement last month that Japan Airlines wanted to cut its fuel surcharge at the start of 2009.
The fuel surcharge, which had risen steadily over the past year, currently stands at $208 each way, or $416 roundtrip, for people flying between Japan and Hawai'i.
JAL originally introduced the fuel surcharge on international tickets in February 2005 in response to a rise in the cost of jet fuel.