Air France opposes fuel surcharge plan

Air France opposes fuel surcharge plan

Mumbai: Air France has opposed a proposal by India’s civil aviation regulator to abolish a fuel surcharge on tickets and include it in the base fare.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is trying to persuade airlines to shift the surcharge into the base fare, a move the carriers are resisting.

However, only Air France has voiced its concern officially so far. “We fail to understand why airlines are required to show its customers a breakdown as laid down in rule 135. Rule 135 covers airlines but does not cover service providers in the travel-related industry. Rule 135 is deemed to be bias(ed) as it is not only the airlines that publish travel-related products," Air France wrote in a 28 August letter to the DGCA.

Airlines do not pay any part of the fuel surcharge to the government.

Travel agents argue that there is no rationale for a separate fuel surcharge.

“DGCA is representing the ministry of civil aviation that formulates the country’s aviation policy. It has every right to direct the airlines to club the fuel surcharge and basic fares," said Biji Eapen, president of the IATA Agents Association of India. “Fuel surcharge should be automatically clubbed into basic fare when an airline publishes the fares as this surcharge is a temporary tool to assume the additional fuel bill."