Qantas, Japan Airlines boost fuel surcharges

Qantas, Japan Airlines boost fuel surcharges

Qantas Airlines has confirmed a sharp increase in fuel surcharges as carriers around the world continue to battle rising fuel costs.

At the same time, Japan Airlines has said it will increase fuel surcharges and suspend routes as it begins trading following a major restructuring.

As Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the fuel surcharges for a one-way ticket to the UK and Europe would rise by 52 per cent on April 28th, taking the cost to A$290.

Flights to the United States and Canada will see surcharges rise by 67 per cent to A$250.

Domestic fares will rise by five per cent and a fuel charge will be added to domestic flights purchased via frequent flyer point redemptions.

“The revised fuel surcharges cover less than half of the increase in fuel cost for the Qantas International business for next year,” Joyce said in a statement.

“With fuel prices at record highs, even if the fuel price begins to decrease it will be some time before we will be able to decrease the fuel surcharge.”

Mr Joyce has also been battling the threat of strike action at the airline, accusing unions of singling out Qantas for industrial action at a time of rising fuel prices and tough economic conditions.

He branded union actions a “kamikaze campaign” and said “unrealistic demands were being placed on the table”.

The Australian and International Pilots’ Association (AIPA) is threatening strike action after demands Australian Qantas pilots will not be replaced by non-Qantas pilots on Qantas aircraft were rejected.

AIPA officials have also issued demands for Qantas wages and conditions to apply across all entities within the Qantas group, such as Jetstar and Jetstar Asia.

Mr Joyce has previously argued this would make Jetstar Asia financially unviable.

Japan Airlines

In Asia, Japan Airlines has also confirmed it will seek government approval to raise fuel surcharges.

Officials have sought approval from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to increase fuel surcharges on all international passenger tickets issued between June 1st and July 31st 2011.

If approved, the surcharge on flights from Europe to Japan will increase from US$202 to US$288.

JAL has been also been hit by a sharp fall in demand following the recent tsunami in the country.

As a result, JAL confirmed earlier the suspension of flights to Hawaii, China and South Korea would continue during May.