Airfares going up

VIRGIN BLUE has followed on the heels of Qantas and Air New Zealand in raising fuel surcharges by as much as $100 for a return international trip and fares by up to $10 for a one-way domestic flight.

The airline blamed higher jet fuel prices for the second increase in surcharges in less than a month.

Qantas last week raised fuel surcharges on its international flights for the second time in a little more than a month, while Air New Zealand increased trans-Tasman fares by an average of 8 per cent.

Passengers will now pay a surcharge of $165 for a one-way ticket on V Australia flights between Australia and Los Angeles, while those flying to Europe via Abu Dhabi will pay a surcharge of $240 each way, up from $220. V Australia's surcharges on the two main routes are as much as $50 higher for a one-way trip than Qantas's.

International short-haul fares for flights on Virgin Blue subsidiaries Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue will increase by up to $20 for a one-way ticket. Domestic fares will rise by between $6 and $10 each way.

Shares in Virgin Blue rose 0.5¢ to 34.5¢ yesterday.

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