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likelihood of more airlines following Emirates in reducing fuel surcharges seems
more remote after both Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley this week raised their price
forecasts for Brent Crude. The firms increased to $120 per barrel their
forecasts to the end of 2011, from $105 and $100, respectively.
on May 9 announced it would eliminate its fuel surcharge "in line with the
recent decrease in fuel prices." Brent Crude has fallen to $111 per barrel
from an April peak of $130. On the
New York Mercantile Exchange today, light crude oil was trading around $98 per
barrel, down 12 percent during the past month.
week, Lufthansa Cargo announced it would reduce its fuel surcharge from May 30,
but other airlines have indicated that fuel prices continue to cause them
significant problems. Qantas last week indicated that it is considering
introducing its fourth fuel surcharge of 2011. Ryanair, which does not impose
fuel surcharges, conveyed plans to ground 80 of its 272 aircraft this winter
because it would be unable to make a profit by operating them with fuel costs
so high. Joint-venture partners Delta Air Lines, Air France-KLM and Alitalia
are cutting by as much as 9 percent their winter transatlantic capacity, partly
for the same reason.
experts agree with forecasts from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The Wall Street Journal quoted a Crédit
Agricole oil analyst who predicted prices later this year would fall to $85 per
barrel. Speaking to BTN, another oil
analyst, London-based Shahin Amini of Fox-Davies Capital, said it is difficult
to project whether oil prices in the next few months will rise or fall. "There
are so many conflicting drivers," he said. "We saw a correction a
couple of weeks ago because of a slowdown in China, and recovery in the United
States has not been as strong as hoped. However, on the supply side, there are
strong geopolitical tensions in the Middle East."