Fuel surcharges likely to return

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IAG Cargo will not be removing the fuel surcharge from its services for freight originating from Hong Kong (China), but industry analysts see carriers having to bring the charge back anyway.

Emirates SkyCargo, Qatar Airways, Scandinavian Airlines and IAG Cargo have announced in the last few months that fuel surcharges will be rolled into a single freight rate. On 11 February, IAG Cargo announced the change, but also stated that for some territories’ regulations it could not remove it. Hong Kong was one. IAG leases Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Freighters for its Hong Kong-London route.

However, it and other airlines that have removed fuel surcharges will likely have to reinstitute them, according to analysts. InterVISTAS Consulting’s vice president and cargo divison head, Douglas Bañez, tells Air Cargo Week: “The surcharge is not fashionable. Some people are calling it more transparent, I don’t get that. I think you lose transparency.”

He adds: “Carriers will always be able to make the case for a surcharge. On the forwarder side, it relates to negotiation on the total charge and not a subset of it. I don’t see a time when surcharges don’t come back. They maybe tied closer to the cost of fuel.”

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