Swiss imposes fuel surcharge

Fares are to be increased due to high oil prices. Swiss

The national carrier, Swiss, has joined a growing list of airlines which have boosted the cost of tickets as a result of surging oil prices.

This content was published on May 18, 2004 - 18:46

Swiss said on Tuesday that it would increase all fares from Switzerland by three per cent – starting from Thursday.

For flights from abroad, the carrier said it would apply different increases depending on what its competitors were doing.

The decision comes just months after Swiss announced it had sold a series of fuel hedges, which would have offered the carrier some relief from rising oil prices.

Airlines such as British Airways, Lufthansa and Qantas have all imposed a fuel surcharge in recent weeks.

But unlike Swiss they remain partially sheltered thanks to long-term fuel contracts that guarantee supply of aviation fuel at rates below the current market level.

No relief in sight

Swiss did not say how long it would keep the “fare surcharge” in place.

“Oil market experts see no immediate price relief in sight,” the airline said in a statement.

“Swiss will continue to monitor the aviation fuel market carefully,” it added.

Fuel costs account for about 12 per cent of Swiss’s total expenditure, the company’s statement said.

The price of oil recently hit 13-year highs and has put renewed pressure on the carrier’s balance sheet. It also casts a fresh shadow over hopes that the airline might break even this summer.

Swiss was formed in 2002 from the remains of Swissair, which collapsed in 2001, and the regional carrier Crossair.

Since then, Swiss has lost more than SFr1 billion ($780 million) and was forced to axe a third of its fleet and staff.

Swiss is also struggling to finalise its entry into the Oneworld aviation alliance, headed by British Airways. A dispute over the exchange of Swiss’s customer data with the British airline has stalled negotiations.


In brief

All fares from Switzerland will increase by three per cent – starting from Thursday.

There will be different increases for flights from abroad depending on what the airline's competitors are doing.

Fares have been increased because of surging oil prices.

Airlines such as British Airways, Lufthansa and Qantas have all imposed a fuel surcharge in recent weeks.

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