Air travellers are to pay more for air fares as airlines start adjusting fares to accommodate the global rising price of fuel, which impacts on their bottomline.
Air France-KLM which implemented a new fare region this April attributed the increase to the rising cost of petrol which it said affected its performance.
In a statement, the airline said, “While Air France-KLM struggles to turn over profit in the current crisis situation, the airline decided to raise its fares since April 6, reflecting the cost of continuously high oil prices. Fares now cost between 20 and 100 euros more for passengers travelling long haul, 10 to 20 euros more on medium-haul flights and from 6 to 15 euros on short-haul flights depending the class of travel.”
Specifically, the airline said passengers travelling on long haul flights to Africa, the Caribbean, Indian Ocean on First and Business class cabins would pay additional 80 euros, while those on the Alizé, Premium Economy, Economy class cabins would pay additional 40 euros.
The airline group said that in 2011, it posted an operating loss of 353 million euros, compared with a profit of 28 million euros in the previous year.
The worsening performance was partially due to a 904 million euro hike in its fuel bill. Earlier in March, the carrier warned that fuel costs were expected to increase by 1.1 billion euros for 2012, putting Air France finances under further pressure.
The rising cost of aviation fuel is a major concern for airlines. In Nigeria, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) confirmed that the price of aviation fuel has gone up from N182 per litre to about N191 per litre, even as the airlines are looking towards a hike in the air fares but could not do so at the moment for fear of losing their customers. This was revealed by Captain Mohammed Joji, General-Secretary of AON at a seminar in Lagos recently.
Fuel bills make up more than 30 per cent of the total cost of running an airline according to IATA statistics.