Beijing has given China's airlines the right to levy insurance surcharges of up to 21 yuan (about HK$19.6) per passenger on international routes in the wake of last month's terrorist attacks in the United States. According to Xinhua, the fee can be levied from October 15 on international routes, as well as services to Hong Kong and Macau. Domestic flights were exempt, Xinhua said. No time limit was given for the surcharge. The report said the surcharges were necessary given that insurers had raised war insurance premiums and capped third-party war insurance coverage. Existing airline insurers had capped coverage at US$50 million. This was insufficient coverage to allow airlines to keep aloft under international regulations, forcing them to look for more expensive options. On Thursday, the SAR Government granted 15 airlines the right to levy insurance surcharges on passengers on Hong Kong routes, with immediate effect, for three months to January.