Northwest Airlines has matched the fare increase announced last week by Continental Airlines and United Airlines, and signaled that belt-tightening...
MINNEAPOLIS — Northwest Airlines has matched the fare increase announced last week by Continental Airlines and United Airlines, and signaled that belt-tightening measures are on the way, too.
United and Continental raised some round-trip fares as much as $50 heading into the weekend.
Oil has been selling at record highs above $100 a barrel, pushing up the cost of jet fuel and cutting into the income of airlines.
Doug Steenland, chief executive of Northwest Airlines, said the airline will spend $1.7 billion more on fuel than it expected when it emerged from bankruptcy in May.
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“Airfares have to go up, and our passengers will need to pay more. Airlines simply cannot absorb these cost increases,” Steenland told workers in a hot-line message recorded over the weekend.
Higher prices will result in fewer passengers, Steenland said, and the size of the airline will need to reflect that.