Etihad undecided on whether to drop fuel surcharge

Airline still 'monitoring situation', despite rivals dropping charge.
Will it or won't it drop fuel surcharges?
Will it or won't it drop fuel surcharges?

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Etihad Airways, the flag carrier of oil-rich Abu Dhabi, has refused to confirm whether it will scrap its fuel surcharge on air fares amid declining oil prices.

The state-backed airline said it would continue to observe prices but stopped short of following in the footsteps of Dubai’s Emirates Airline, which on Sunday said it would remove its fuel surcharge from all tickets with immediate effective.

“Fuel prices are volatile and we are monitoring the situation carefully to ensure we remain competitive,” an Etihad spokesperson told Arabian Business in an emailed statement.

Crude oil tumbled 17% following the death of the al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, marking its biggest weekly decline since 2008.

The fall is a welcome break for airlines, who have been squeezed by surging oil prices over the past two months, spurred by widespread violence in the Middle East and shortage fears.

Brent crude hit a 32-month high in March, reaching more than $127 a barrel.

President of Emirates Tim Clark warned last week that oil prices would “bring all of us to our knees,” if they continued to rise, and warned low-cost carriers could be the first casualties.

“Nothing can be sustained at this level so something has to be done,” he said. “If by the end of the year we still have $130, $140 or $150 then watch this space.”

British Airways last month announced a third fuel surcharge hike on long-haul flights.

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