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Transport / Airline could increase fuel surcharge if costs keep rising

Meanwhile the 2023 fares for the NorthLink ferry service will be decided on later this year

A Loganair flight preparing to take off from Sumburgh Airport. Photo: Shetland News

LOGANAIR has not ruled out increasing its £3.95 surcharge on flights if the cost of fuel continues to rise.

The additional fee was imposed on one-way flights from March because the airline said it had no other option as it looked to cover the rising cost of operating planes.

It added that many other international airlines had already taken that step.

Loganair, which operates flights to and from Sumburgh as well as across the UK , said it would look at reducing the surcharge if the global price of oil fell.

But a spokesperson confirmed to Shetland News that the airline would also consider increasing it if fuel prices continue to rise.

“Loganair continues to monitor fuel prices in line with its hedging policy,” they said.

“Should the need arise to increase the surcharge we will represent it transparently, as we have previously.”

Meanwhile Scottish ministers will make a decision on the 2023 fares for the NorthLink ferry later this year. Unlike Loganair, the service is contracted out by the Scottish Government.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government, however, took aim at the Westminster government over how it has addressed the fuel crisis.

Later this year, Scottish Ministers will make a decision on NorthLink fares for 2023,” they said.

“No decision has yet been taken but we will continue to press the UK Government to take action to address the fuel crisis and pressures on transport businesses.

“Their failure to apply the energy price cap to businesses is causing real difficulties and must be challenged.”

This week Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael also backed Liberal Democrat plans to expand rural fuel duty relief.

Some fuel pumps in Lerwick reached nearly £2 a litre for petrol last week.

Analysis by the party suggests households in rural areas paid £114 in transport costs each week in the year to March 2020, almost £40 more than those in urban areas, equating to an extra burden of nearly £2,000 per year

The party is calling for the rural fuel duty relief to be doubled to 10p a litre, and for it to be expanded beyond the current area covered which includes the isles, to places where “public transport options are limited and drivers are being disproportionately hit by rising fuel prices”

Carmichael said: “An expanded fuel duty cut for rural communities would have a real benefit for struggling families and businesses here in the isles and elsewhere.

“When we brought in the original rural fuel duty relief scheme to help the most extreme cases – like the Northern Isles – it made a vital difference. That relief kept island fuel costs broadly in line with the rest of the UK, but with the gap widening again it is time for further action as my party has proposed.”