Accounts manager eyes cheaper vacations abroad

Accounts manager eyes cheaper vacations abroad
As fuel prices dropped, air travel has now become much cheaper. However, carriers like SIA and SilkAir will not benefit from lower fuel prices until after their current contracts end in March.

Accounts manager Gillian Zheng, 30, usually visits destinations such as Hong Kong or Taiwan around the peak travel period of March.

But this spring, she is going farther to the land of the rising sun, after she managed to get a return flight to Japan on Singapore Airlines for $800, a third less than the usual $1,200.

"Air travel has definitely become much cheaper than before. While many customers don't look at fuel surcharge as their primary cost concern, you can tell it makes a significant difference to overall travel costs," she said.

"I felt this deal was especially good considering that March usually has more expensive airfares thanks to the cherry blossom season," she added.

While the drop in oil prices has sparked a rise in air travel due to lower airfare, many travel agencies say the full impact will be felt only closer to April.

Carriers like SIA and SilkAir will not benefit from lower fuel prices until after their current contracts end in March. Thus, more significant airfare changes are expected only later in the year, said agencies.

But demand for air travel has already grown, especially for the busy Chinese New Year season.

Ms Alicia Seah, director of marketing and communications at Dynasty Travel, said the agency is expecting more customers.

"There are many reasons, be it returning home to visit relatives, travelling for leisure, or simply taking advantage of the strong Singapore dollar against the weaker yen and euro. Demand is expected to grow even more after this period," she said.


This article was first published on Jan 23, 2015.
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