The Neutrality of Fuel Surcharge

Global Journal of Business Research, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 1-10, 2007

10 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2010  

Qiang Gong

Peking University

Xingli Fan

General Administration of Civil Aviation of China

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

Airline companies usually collect a fuel surcharge rather than increase airfares when fuel prices surge. This paper initiates a theoretical model to analyze the properties of fuel surcharges. We show that the role of fuel surcharges is neutral under the present fee collection scheme, which means that the fuel surcharge policy cannot help the airline industry improve its profits. In addition, the equilibrium results of air fares with fuel surcharge policies are identical to that of the fuel-cost-driven air fares without it. Therefore, the effects on social welfare are the same. We also offer an analysis to clear up the common misunderstanding in which the fuel surcharge policy was in favorable to the airline companies at the expense of the consumer welfare. The empirical facts from Chinese airlines support our theoretical findings.

Suggested Citation

Gong, Qiang and Fan, Xingli, The Neutrality of Fuel Surcharge (2007). Global Journal of Business Research, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 1-10, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1542736

Qiang Gong (Contact Author)

Peking University ( email )

School of International Studies
Beijing, 100871
China

Xingli Fan

General Administration of Civil Aviation of China ( email )

China

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