Airlines criticised for not reducing fuel surcharges

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Car Rental News - 29/09/2008


Air carriers are being criticised for maintaining the high levels of fuel surcharges introduced earlier this year.

Despite a steady decrease in the price of oil, most airlines have not reduced fuel surcharges they added to the cost of airfares, according to a report in The Telegraph.

By this past summer, most airlines were either introducing or increasing fuel surcharges in response to the continuing rise of the price of oil, which reached a high for the year so far in July, of $147 per barrel.

Last week, the price of oil dropped to just over $90 per barrel, but The Telegraph noted only a very few airlines have lowered their surcharges.

Throughout the summer, British Airways continued to increase fuel surcharges, and now, although oil prices have declined steadily since July, passengers are being charged £218 per person, on long-haul returns.

Virgin Atlantic is also maintaining surcharges at similar levels to BA, despite the fact that the last time the price of oil was at the $90 per barrel level, the fuel surcharge stood at £116 return.

A spokesperson for BA defended the current fuel surcharges: "Although the spot price of oil has dropped in recent weeks, the market remains volatile. Our overall fuel bill, which is paid for in dollars, has not reduced."

Critics have pointed out, however, that British Airways World Cargo reduced fuel surcharge three times since July, to keep pace with "the recent drop in fuel prices."

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