The Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department yesterday approved South African Airways' application to levy a fuel surcharge on passengers, allowing the airline to pass on rising fuel costs to customers. A spokeswoman at the department said the airline would be allowed to levy a US$10 surcharge in each direction between Hong Kong and Johannesburg. The surcharge is applicable until the end of August. Fifteen other airlines have applied for similar relief. The spokeswoman said: 'The South African Airways' application was approved first because they were the first airline to provide us with all the relevant documentation needed to process it.' Jet fuel prices on the Singapore commodities market, the region's main indicator, rose to nearly US$49 a barrel last week, the highest level in 14 years.