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Tuesday 16th of June 2009
June 27, 2005

British airways increases surcharge


by Brian Turner
British airways increases surcharge

British Airways announced on Friday that it will increase its fuel surcharge to passengers beginning on Monday.

The BA announcement was followed shortly by a similar announcement from Virgin Atlantic, which will rise to £24 per flight leg, and other airlines are expected to follow their example soon.

The surcharge on BA long haul flights originating in the UK will go up 50 percent, from £16 to £24 per flight leg, or by £48 for return trips. For shorter flights in Europe, the surcharge will rise from £6 to £8. BA first introduced fuel surcharges on passenger tickets in May 2004.

The latest increase is the fourth in a year. Previous increases have not seemed to impact ticket sales in a significant way.

BA called the increase “unavoidable” and said that its fuel bill would increase by about £450 million this year, to £1.6 billion, 16 percent of its total costs, while Virgin Atlantic said that its fuel bill amounted to 22 percent of its costs.

The director general of the International Air Transport Association has said previously that rising oil prices were destroying the profitability of airlines worldwide and that the industry as a whole is looking at losses of $6 billion this year, the fifth year in a row of such losses.

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