British Airways raises fuel surcharge by £10

Image caption, The size of a fuel surcharge is partly dependent on the plane's destination

British Airways is to increase its fuel surcharge on long-haul flights for the first time in more than two years.

From Thursday, passengers will pay an extra £10 per journey sector - taking the surcharge to between £63 and £108 depending on flight length and class of travel.

BA said the rise reflected "the substantial recent increase in the price of oil".

Short-haul flights are unaffected by the changes.

Increased cost

BA last increased the fuel surcharge in June 2008. It has been reduced twice since then.

Surcharges were introduced to help airlines with the rising cost of jet fuel and have come to make up a significant part of the price of an airline ticket.

They apply to each sector of a journey, so in its full list of the fees faced, BA said the surcharge on a return flight would be an extra £20.

Separately on Tuesday, industry body the International Air Transport Association warned that higher fuel costs would be the biggest challenge for airlines in 2011.

It said that the price of jet fuel was currently 17.6% higher than a year ago and had risen by almost 5% in the past month.

The price of oil has risen steadily from about $72 a barrel in August to just over $90 currently.

IATA forecast the average oil price in 2011 would be $84 from $79 this year.

This meant fuel would make up 27% of operating costs next year, from 26% in 2010, it added.

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