Emirates scraps fuel surcharge

Emirates Airline’s aircraft in Dubai. (FILE)

Dubai-based Emirates, the largest airline in the region, has removed the fuel surcharge on its tickets with immediate effect, one of the airline’s top officials said in a statement today.

“In line with the recent decrease in fuel prices, Emirates has removed its fuel surcharge on all tickets,” said Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline.

Emirates had introduced a new fuel surcharge on April 18, citing soaring international fuel prices. Its surcharge made an economy class ticket dearer by between Dh40 and Dh640, depending on the sector of travel.

“The removal of this surcharge reflects our longstanding commitment to our customers. We promised our customers from the outset that we would eliminate the surcharge as soon as it was commercially viable and this has now been done. We continue to closely monitor the situation.”

Crude oil prices fell 15 per cent last week, the steepest decline in two-and-a-half years, and a barrel of crude Brent is trading around $109 this morning, down from last week’s high of over $127.

Travellers have welcomed the move by the Dubai-based airline. “Emirates is a true leader. I like their service, and now I love their prices even more,” said Ian Lewis, a sales executive with a Dubai-based IT reseller. He, like thousands of expatriates, is getting ready for his annual family trip back home during the forthcoming school holidays, and said the reduction came just in time for him.

Bindu S, another Dubai resident, said that although she tries to minimize her payouts by using her Air Miles and Skyward miles, she nevertheless was happy with the announcement.

Duleep Singh, a Sharjah resident, too is happy with the decision, and says he’d “prefer flying with Emirates than with [a low-fare] airline, especially with my family.”

The latest Emirates surcharge was valid for just three weeks. “Due to the current volatility of oil prices, Emirates is introducing a fuel surcharge to reflect the substantial recent increases in our fuel costs,” an Emirates spokesperson had said on April 18.

“Emirates has already incurred substantial costs by absorbing the recent price rises, but the surcharge gives us the ability to respond faster to market conditions, rather than a lengthier process of incorporating them into fares,” the spokesperson had said in a statement.

“The changes will also give us the ability to decrease prices quickly, where appropriate. We will review the level of the surcharge on an on-going basis, while remaining committed to providing our customers with excellent service and a strong value-for-money proposition,” the spokesperson had said.

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