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Tue, Mar 22, 2005 - Page 12 News List

British Airways expected to raise fuel surcharges

AFP , LONDON

British Airways is expected to announce a new increase in surcharges on airfares this week in order to offset the rising cost of fuel, the Observer newspaper reported on Sunday.

"With [oil] prices this high another increase in the surcharge is unavoidable," an air industry source told the British paper.

"British Airways is likely to lead the way on this, and it is likely to be promptly followed by Virgin," another British airline, the same anonymous source said.

Regarding the speculation over an increase, a BA spokesperson said only that the company "monitors the price of oil constantly and will adjust our surcharge levels when and where we feel it appropriate to do so."

The British flag carrier could raise its so-called "fuel tax" by about £3 (US$5.6) per ticket, according to the Observer's source.

BA imposed the surcharge for the first time in May last year, adding an average of £2.5 to every ticket in the UK. In October, the surcharge reached £4 for short flights and £10 for long trips.

The price of oil rose again Friday, as the markets worried about whether crude oil supplies in the second half of the year will be adequate in the face of surging global demand. In New York, a barrel of light sweet crude for delivery in April climbed US$0.32 to US$56.72, a record high closing, but below the all-time intraday high of US$57.60 on Thursday.

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