Air France on Wednesday became the latest air carrier to increase fares in a bid to pass on the cost of soaring fuel charges to customers.

The move follows a trend of hikes to air fares, as airlines across the globe battle against the cost of record oil prices.

Air France pledged to charge an additional €2 per flight leg on domestic services and €3 per leg on medium-haul services - to Europe and North Africa - as of August 24.

It said that on long-haul routes the surcharge will increase by €12 per flight leg.

Last week British Airways became the first European airline to raise prices, as it more than doubled its fuel surcharge on intercontinental services. Its move was followed quickly by an identical increase by Virgin Atlantic, its rival UK long-haul carrier.

Earlier this week Lufthansa, the German airline, said it would charge an extra €2 per flight leg for domestic and European routes and €7 per leg for long-haul travel.

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific has also increased its fuel surcharge and Singapore Airlines might follow suit.

But low-cost airlines, Ryanair and EasyJet, have ruled out the imposition of surcharges as they expect further cuts to fares in the competitive European market.

Air France’s Dutch subsidiary, KLM, is also raising fares by an average of €3 as of September 1. This is the second time in a week that KLM has lifted fares. It previously announced it was raising prices due to a strong recovery in long-haul traffic.

Oil prices have risen by about 35 per cent since the start of the year, causing jet fuel prices to soar and threatening to leave the aviation industry in loss for a fourth successive year.

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