Cathay Pacific is eliminating fuel surcharges from 1 May 2020

Cathay Pacific will remove fuel surcharges from 1 May 2020, and it's great news for award travelers.

Cathay Pacific has announced that it’s removing fuel surcharges from virtually all tickets, effective 1 May 2020.

As per an update on its website:

The tl;dr version is that from 1 May 2020, you won’t need to pay any fuel surcharges on Cathay Pacific flights departing from Singapore (or most of Cathay’s other destinations, for that matter). Only the poor guys originating in Japan (and the Philippines, in limited cases) will continue to be subject to a fuel surcharge of up to JPY 7,300 (~S$96) per flight sector.

I don’t actually see this reflected on the Cathay website just yet. For example, when I pull up this dummy itinerary between Singapore and Los Angeles in September 2020, I get the following breakdown:

Note the S$168.80 of carrier surcharges, which is the sum of the current fuel surcharges on the individual legs.

Fuel Surcharge
Doesn’t the table above drive home just how ridiculous fuel surcharges are? They’ll charge you US$48.70 to go from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, but only US$10.90 to go the other way! 

So my guess is this only affects tickets issued from 1 May 2020 onwards; we’ll have to wait and see.

If you were intending to book tickets for travel on Cathay Pacific, I don’t think you necessarily need to hold off until 1 May 2020 though- it’s not like the prices will fall dramatically on this date. In all likelihood, Cathay is just folding the fuel surcharges into the base fare, with the total cost remaining the same. 

No more fuel surcharges on awards too

Update: A Cathay spokesperson has confirmed that fuel surcharges will also be removed from award tickets issued from 1 May 2020 onwards. I’ve updated the text below accordingly. 

While there’s no windfall for cash-paying passengers, the removal of fuel surcharges would lead to real savings for award travelers.

Fuel surcharges will be eliminated from Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon award tickets issued from 1 May 2020 onwards. Note how it’s “issued”, not “for travel”– if you were to book a ticket for November 2020 before 1 May 2020, you’d still pay the surcharges. So sit tight and wait for May to come before booking anything.

Asia Miles will continue to pass on fuel surcharges wherever they’re imposed by partner airlines e.g Qatar, British Airways

Assuming you don’t mind an extra stop in Hong Kong, you could save some miles by redeeming flights through Asia Miles instead of KrisFlyer.

Round-trip Business Class, from Singapore to…
San Francisco/
Los Angeles
New York JFK198K170K

There are particularly large savings to be had for flights to Frankfurt/Amsterdam (or basically anywhere in Europe that falls below the 7,500 miles boundary on Cathay’s distance-based award chart)

As a reminder, here’s the Asia Miles award chart for travel on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.

Type 2 refers to flights with origin or destination in the Americas. Type 1 refers to flights that don’t have an origin or destination in the Americas


The removal of fuel surcharges on Cathay Pacific award tickets significantly increases the value of Asia Miles, and provides more Singapore-based travelers with the opportunity to experience Cathay’s Business and First Class products.

Here’s to the end of fuel surcharges everywhere!

(HT: Glenn on The Milelion’s Telegram Group)

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Hey Aaron,
Thanks for sharing!

Would you be able to add another chart for first class as well? As it will be interesting to see how it compares to Krisflyer


Also how it will compete with redemption via Alaska, as the rates on Alaska for Cathy flights still seem to be much better than Asia Miles



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