Virgin Australia to Raise Fares

13th Aug 2013

Starting August 22, Virgin Australia will increase its fares and fuel surcharges across its network less than a week after Qantas made similar announcement of fare increase.

According to airline official, the base fare for most domestic and regional flights will go up by 3% on average. Similar fare increase will also apply to most of the airline's short-haul international routes.

Late last month, Qantas made a public announcement that starting in the middle of August 2013, it will impose fare and fuel surcharges increase across its international network.

The two rival airlines have imposed almost identical rate in their respective international services. For example, the average fare increase rate for Virgin's Middle East and European return flights is $50, $70 and $130 for economy, premium economy and business/first class seats respectively. This is the same rate Qantas has imposed for the same class seats and routes when it published the new fare table in its website following the announcement.

For flights to the continental United States on either Virgin or Qantas, the rate is also identical, regardless of destinations. The rate is as follows: $50, $70 and $100 for economy, premium economy and business/first class seats respectively. The rate for economy and premium economy, however, will only affect the base fare to flights in mainland USA, something economy travelers would heave a sigh of relief. The $100 increase for business/first class seat will affect both base fare and fuel surcharges.

The recent increase was said to have been due to the continued devaluation of Australian Dollar and the steady rise of the crude oil prices in the world market. This has resulted to the 13% increase in the airline's fuel expenditures in the last couple of months.

According to Judith Crompton, Chief Commercial Officer of Virgin Australia, the airline was unable to recoup its losses in the previous rounds of fuel price increases in the world market. The fuel price increase is also compounded by the falling Australian Dollar against most of the major currencies.

The airline official has assured, however, that they will continue to keep track of the movement of the fuel prices in the world market so they can adjust their fare and fuel surcharges accordingly.