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Victor Ralk

Qantas/Jetstar follow Virgin and CUT SURCHARGES

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All thanks to Virgin, QF/JQ have now followed and are cutting all Fuel Surcharges in Aus Domestic Market. JQ will cut a further $10, DJ will slash $19 and QF will cut $18.

Now, If they drop this off their current sale fares, well, it might be cheaper flying QF than TT!


QANTAS will remove its domestic fuel surcharges from New Year's day, after reducing them several times this year.


The carrier said the $18 per sector fuel surcharge would be axed for tickets issued on or after Thursday, January 1, bringing welcome relief to consumer pockets.


Executive general manager John Borghetti said the surcharge would be removed for all Qantas domestic and QantasLink bookings.


The cull in fuel surcharge is set to be embraced by the $90 billion domestic travel industry, which today expressed fears for its 2009 season.


As consumers continue to tighten their belts, Tourism Australia is predicting a horror 2009 year, with inbound tourism expected to drop by almost 4 per cent.


Qantas last week announced that it had reduced its international and domestic fuel surcharges for the third time in recent months because of falling oil prices.


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But Mr Borghetti said international surcharges would not be axed due to its higher fuel costs associated with its overseas operations.


Last week's international fuel surcharge reduction had made some flights a little more affordable.


The fuel surcharge for a one-way ticket from Australia to the United Kingdom and Europe has been cut by $30 to $160.


The surcharge was for one-way flights to the Americas, South Africa and India fell by $20 to $130.

Qantas shares closed 4 cents lower at $2.52.


Despite recent falls in the oil price, the airline's fuel costs were still greater than when surcharges were first introduced in May 2004, he said.


Qantas maintains that the group's fuel bill this financial year would still be $400 million higher than in 2007/08.


"Fuel remains a major cost to our business and, even with surcharges, we have absorbed significant amounts of the additional record fuel costs incurred in recent years,'' he said.


"Prices remain volatile.


"Oil was trading as low as $US32.40 ($47.14) on December 19, but today back up to $US40 a barrel, an increase of more than 20 per cent.''


Mr Borghetti said jet fuel refining margins paid by airlines were also higher, about $US17 now compared to about $US5.40 in May 2004.

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