Virgin Atlantic cuts fuel surcharges

[October 15th 2008]

Virgin plane

Long haul airline Virgin Atlantic is reducing the passenger fuel surcharges on its flights from midnight tonight.

The airline says the reduction is due to the “sustained decrease in the price of crude oil”. Fuel surcharges are being cut by up to £13 per flight depending on the destination and cabin class.

Passengers flying economy class with Virgin Atlantic will pay £10 less on shorter flights and £13 less on longer flights. Premium economy passengers will pay £5 less on shorter sectors and £6.50 less on longer sectors.

The reduction in fuel surcharges means on shorter flights economy passengers will pay £68, premium economy passengers £83 and Upper Class passengers £98.

On longer flights economy passengers will pay £96 in fuel surcharges, premium economy passengers will pay £114.50 and Upper Class passengers £133.

Virgin Atlantic says the longer sectors include flights from London to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Beijing, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Mauritius, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Hong Kong.

Virgin Atlantic is one of the first airlines to cut fuel surcharges in the wake of the recent fall in the price of oil after it reached record levels earlier this year. Lower fuel prices at last mean some good news for consumers being hit hard by the global economic crisis.

Low cost airline Ryanair recently called on what it terms “high fare” airlines such as Air France, BA, Lufthansa and Aer Lingus to reduce their “unfair and unjustified fuel surcharges by at least 40% to reflect the steep fall in oil prices”.

Ryanair points out that oil prices have fallen from a high of $146 a barrel to less than $90 a barrel, but many airlines have still not reduced fuel surcharges.

The budget Irish airline claims passengers are “voting with their feet” and deserting high fare, high fuel surcharge airlines in favour of low cost airlines. Ryanair guarantees “no fuel surcharges” and saw passenger numbers rise by 20% in September.

Written by: Nick Purdom


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Virgin Atlantic Cuts Fuel Surcharges