Qantas flights to the UK and Europe will see a near-50% rise in the ticket's fuel surcharge from February 19 due to the rising cost of oil and jet fuel. The current surcharge of $95 per person one way will increase to $145.
The fuel surcharge component of tickets to North America, South America, South Africa and India will go from $85 to $115 each way; for flights to Asia and the Pacific (including Honolulu), the surcharge lifts from $55 to $75.
Qantas also says that domestic and trans-Tasman fares, which do not include a fuel surcharge, "are under review" – raising the possibility of an increase for local airfares.
However, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said even with the increased fees "Qantas will not fully recover this additional cost, and we cannot rule out further changes in the future.”
“Year to date average prices for both West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil and Singapore Jet Fuel are at their highest since FY08, and second half FY11 prices are forecast to be around 20 per cent higher than in the first half,” Mr Joyce said.
“Many airlines have already responded to this significant increase in their operating costs and adjusted their fuel surcharges and fares in recent weeks and months. Qantas has been closely monitoring the situation for some time now and has held off any move on surcharges for as long as possible."
Qantas noted that its international surcharges have previously been reduced on four occasions since October 2006, and from as much as $210 one way in 2008 when oil prices were at similar levels to today.
Qantas' low-cost sibling Jetstar does not charge a fuel levy but "will address the impact of higher fuel prices via adjustments to air fares in selected markets and increases in ancillary revenue, including baggage charges".