Qantas has announced a second increase in its international fuel surcharges in response to continual rises in jet fuel prices.
The changes, which will apply to tickets issued on or after March 17, have been put down to a “range of factors”, according to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, who pointed out ongoing political instability in the Middle East as a key reason for the jump in oil and jet fuel prices. “This prompted, last month, our first increase in international fuel surcharges since January 2008, as well as modest increases in domestic, regional and Tasman fares of up to five per cent,” Joyce said.
“Since then, jet fuel prices have increased by a further 12 per cent, to more than US$131 per barrel today.”
Year to date average prices for both Brent and Singapore Jet Fuel have been at their highest since FY08, and second half FY11 prices are forecast to be around 20 per cent higher than in the first half. The price of Singapore Jet Fuel has also increased from an average of US$88 a barrel in September 2010, to US$120 a barrel in February, and is over US$131 per barrel today. “This increased cost to our capital intensive business is something we, and other airlines, have to manage very carefully via hedging activities as well as surcharge and fare increases,” Joyce said.
Joyce remained adamant that the surcharge increases would “still not recover the full impact of these latest oil and fuel price rises”, noting that the Qantas Group stood to deal with a rise in fuels costs to $2 billion by the second half of FY11.
For tickets issued on or after March 17, the new fuel surcharges (one way ex-Australia) will be:
- UK and Europe: $190 (up from $145)
- Mainland USA, Canada, South America, South Africa and India: $150 (up from $115)
- Asia, Pacific, Honolulu: $105 (up from $75)
Joyce would not rule out further increases to international, domestic, regional and trans-Tasman fares, saying Qantas would continue to closely monitor the situation and respond where appropriate. The announcement follows Qantas’s previous increase to their fuel surcharge on international fares in February this year.