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Question for written answer to the Commission

Question asked by: Phil Prendergast (S&D)

Subject: Regulation of fuel surcharge pricing

Could the Commission indicate how the pricing of airline fuel surcharges is regulated and implemented in the internal market?

Could the Commission further explain how discrepancies between fuel surcharge prices and fuel prices are monitored, whilst taking airline hedging positions into account, for the purposes of preventing abuses of this instrument to the detriment of consumers?

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the European Commission

Air Services Regulation(EC) 1008/2008 in its Articles 22-23 makes clear that air carriers have pricing freedom and imposes an obligation on air carriers to include the applicable conditions and display all taxes, charges, fees and surcharges – whether on fuel, security or other matters – which are unavoidable and foreseeable at the time of publication. The Regulation does not restrict air carriers in setting price structure. 

Hedging of fuel is a business matter. The Commission does not intervene in the contractual relationship between airlines and fuel suppliers or airlines and passengers in this respect and does not monitor the alleged discrepancies. 

If a consumer has the view that such practice of air carriers is abusive, she/he is encouraged to contact the national enforcement bodies that have power to investigate the case.