More airlines reduce fuel surcharges

12 Nov 2008

Ripples from the “financial tsunami”, coupled with the drop in oil prices, has prompted a string of airlines to reduce their fuel surcharges since October.

As crude oil and kerosene rates decreased, Lufthansa lowered the cost of fuel by 5 euros (US$6.4) to 92 euros (US$118) on its long-haul routes. Bangkok Airways and Siem Reap Airways did likewise bringing fuel charges down by 15 percent for all international and domestic flights.

Joining the fray this month are airlines such as Air France and KLM which made reductions ranging from 2 (US$2.5) to 10 euros (US$12.8) and Singapore Airlines slashing up to $15 (US$10) off their current charges.

Aggressive low-cost carrier AirAsia went a step further, abolishing the fuel surcharge completely, while simultaneously  launching a sale today until November 16 of 500,000 free seats for travel between June 22 and 24 next year.

And the catch? Passengers still have to pay administration, insurance and airport fees.

AirAsia chief executive officer Tony Fernandes said the company had been able to scrap fuel surcharges – averaging US$19 per customer – because of falling oil prices, but it could return if these surged again. The airline, he said, was planning on increasing routes and capacity to win market share.

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Peter Rajendran

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