Low-Budget Carriers Also Feel the Pinch of Higher Fuel Costs

If you think you’re going to get around the idea of increased airfares imposed by major airlines because of rising fuel costs by jumping over to a discount carrier, think again.

Low-budget airlines are also using the same type and amount of jet fuel that their larger counterparts are using, and they are starting to feel the pinch as well – and passing the cost down to their fliers.

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“We’ll have to gently raise our fares,” Frontier Airlines CEO Barry Biffle told CNBC in an interview during an appearance on the network’s ‘Closing Bell’ segment on Friday afternoon.

Turning barrels of oil into jet fuel is the second-largest cost for airlines behind employee compensation, but CNBC noted that fuel has risen almost 80 percent just in this year alone to the highest levels in almost 14 years. Jet fuel costs were rising anyway, but the situation was exacerbated by the Russian-Ukraine war that began on February 24 and subsequent economic sanctions issued by the U.S. and its Western allies against Russia and Russia’s retaliatory measures against the west.

Still, Biffle – like his counterparts at other airlines – is optimistic about summer, especially after spring break travel started with a bang.

“Even with the high fuel prices we believe we can be profitable this summer,” he said.

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