After a gap of over six months, airfares have started going up again. Two large private airlines, the Jet Airways group and Kingfisher Airlines, which control nearly 60 per cent of the market, have increased fuel surcharge by Rs 400 with immediate effect to offset a hike in aviation fuel prices.
Air India and other airlines are expected to follow soon.
The hikes come a day after oil marketing companies increased jet fuel prices by 12 per cent in line with a rise in international crude prices. This was the fourth consecutive quarter involving an increase in jet fuel prices.
“The increase was necessitated by sharp increase in aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices by 33 per cent since March 2009,” Jet Airways said in a statement.
On Tuesday late night the airline announced a flat fuel surcharge hike of Rs 400 starting June 17 on domestic sector flights. The hike is applicable on all flights of Jet Airways and its low cost arms Jet Airways Konnect and JetLite.
“We have increased fuel surcharge by Rs 400 following successive increase in ATF prices. The hike applies uniformly for travel across all distances and all classes including Kingfisher Red,” said a Kingfisher Airlines spokesperson.
The revised fuel surcharge in Kingfisher’s business class and full-service economy class for a distance below 750 km will now be Rs 2,550 while passengers flying a distance above 750 km will be charged Rs 3,400. On Kingfisher Red, for distances below 750 km the fuel surcharge will now be Rs 2,350 while for distances above 750 km, the surcharge will be Rs 3,100.
In the past airlines were forced to lower fares due to inadequate passenger load on planes and the effects of a global economic downturn. Now that fuel prices are rising, airlines say they have no option but to pass on the burden on passengers.