August 13, 2008

Dutch Plane Ticket Price Soars

Dutch plane ticket price soars

BRUSSELS, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Plane ticket prices have surged by 25 percent in the past year mainly due to hiking fuel surcharges, Dutch paper De Telegraaf said Tuesday.

The paper said that according to figures from the Dutch central statistics bureau, Royal Dutch Airlines KLM increased its fuel surcharge several times last year. Fuel surcharges on a KLM European flight now amount to 41 euros (61.3 U.S. dollars), and the charge is 133 euros (198.6 dollars) for flights under nine hours and 147 euros (219.5 dollars) for longer trips.

The airlines say they have to pass higher fuel costs on to their customers.

"We aren't happy about it either," a KLM spokesman was quoted as saying, "We would rather see full planes. But if we want to continue to operate, we have no choice."

The ticket price is continuing to soar this year. A new flight tax introduced on July 1 has added to the fares hike. The much- criticized tax adds 11.25 euros (16.8 dollars) to a ticket for short flights and 45 euros (67.2 dollars) for long-haul flights.

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