TAHITI AIRLINE TRIMS FUEL SURCHARGE

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Reductions of $14 to $20 to, from U.S.

PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Sept. 13) – Air Tahiti Nui has joined Air France in reducing the fuel surcharge on flights on the Paris-Los Angeles-Papeete route, but Tahiti's international carrier left the surcharge on its Auckland, Sydney, Tokyo and Osaka routes unchanged.

The four other international carriers serving Tahiti—Air New Zealand, LAN Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Air Caledonia—have not announced any fuel surcharge reductions. And neither has Air Tahiti, French Polynesia's domestic carrier that operated an average of nearly eight monthly Papeete-Rarotonga-Papeete flights between Jan. 1 and July 31, according to French Civil Aviation Office statistics.

Both Air Tahiti Nui and Air France attributed the fuel surcharge reductions to what the French carrier described as a "significant period" of falling oil prices. When Air France announced its reductions on Sept. 4, the price of crude oil had dropped about US$38, or 26%, since surging to a record US$147.27 a barrel on July 11.

On Friday, the price of light, sweet crude for October delivery settled 31 cents higher at $101.18 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after dipping below $100 a barrel earlier in trading for the first time since April 2.

Air France, which operates four weekly Los Angeles-Papeete-Los Angeles flights, announced on Sept. 4 a €10 [US$14] lower fuel surcharge on Los Angeles-Papeete flights and Papeete-Los Angeles flights, creating a new surcharge of €85 [US$121 ], according to the airline's regional headquarters in Papeete. The airline also lowered by €14 [US$20 ] the surcharge for Papeete-Los Angeles-Paris tickets.

Air Tahiti Nui announced on Sept. 10 that it had reduced the fuel surcharge on Paris-Papeete flights by €14, creating a new surcharge of €165, the Papeete headquarters reported. It also said it had reduced the surcharge for Los Angeles-Papeete flights by €16 to €98.

For flights in the opposite direction, Air Tahiti Nui said it had lowered the fuel surcharge by 1,190 French Pacific francs, or €10, for Papeete-Paris flights, making the new surcharge 21,370 French Pacific francs. And it said the fuel surcharge for Papeete-Los Angeles flights had been lowered by 1,430 French Pacific francs, or €12.

Tahitipresse: www.tahitipresse.pf

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