JetBlue Adds Fuel Surcharges to Caribbean

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JetBlue has added fuel surcharges of $35 each way on flights to and from Puerto Rico and $45 each way on flights to and from other points in the Caribbean.

Consumers may feel the bite, but won't see the charges broken out in airfare. The Transportation Department does not allow airlines to list fuel surcharges separately, so they are bundled into the basic fare.

Chief executive officer Dave Barger disclosed the surcharges in a conference call with investment analysts to discuss fourth-quarter earnings.

He said he is "encouraged" that the airline industry as a whole is raising fares to cover the increased cost of fuel.

The burden of that increase must be passed onto consumers, he said.

Oil prices have been very volatile in recent weeks, sometimes creeping past $90 a barrel.

In response, airlines have had four rounds of fare hikes since mid-December.

Barger said that JetBlue's average one-way fare in 2010 was $141, 8% higher than its average fare in 2009.

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