Virgin and BA cut fuel surcharges

14 Oct 2008 by Mark Caswell

Virgin Atlantic and British Airways are reducing their fuel surcharges by up to £26 per return flight, following the “recent, sustained decrease in the price of crude oil”. The move takes effect at midnight tonight (Wednesday October 15), with the size of the cuts depending on the destination and class of cabin.

The biggest winners are economy class passengers travelling on what is referred to as a “longer sector”. (Virgin says this applies to route from London to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Beijing Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Mauritius, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Hong Kong, while BA refers to it simply as flights over nine hours in duration.) They will now pay £96 in fuel surcharges per sector (ie: per leg), down from £109, or a saving of £26 on a return flight. Shorter sectors will benefit from a £10 reduction per sector in economy.

Premium economy passengers will also see their surcharges cut, albeit by less because, as Virgin explained, “the space and baggage allowances are much bigger in that cabin than they are in economy”. For longer sectors the reduction is £5 per sector (to £83), and £6.50 for longer sectors (to £114.50). Upper Class surcharges remain at £98 for shorter sectors and £133 for longer sectors.

The price of oil has come down from a high of nearly US$150 earlier this year, to its current level of under US$80. Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, El Al, Air France and Singapore Airlines have all cut their fuel surcharges in recent weeks.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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