Flying to Greece could be more expensive this summer as Emirates has bowed to pressure to raise airline surcharges and fares after jet fuel broke through $128 a barrel for the first time in three years, due to constraints on crude oil supplies.

Due to the current volatility of oil prices, Emirates has introduced a fuel surcharge to reflect the substantial recent increases in fuel costs, Emirates Vice President Australasia Barry Brown told Neos Kosmos.

“Emirates has already incurred substantial costs by absorbing the recent price rises, but the surcharge gives us the ability to respond faster to market conditions, rather than a lengthier process of incorporating them into fares,” Mr Brown said.

“The changes will also give us the ability to decrease prices quickly, where appropriate”.

Mr Barry said the company will review the level of the surcharge on an on-going basis, while remaining committed to providing customers with excellent service and a strong value-for-money proposition.

Political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa has been one factor leading to constraints on crude oil supplies, while Jet fuel supplies in Asia have also been constrained by a sharp drop in refinery production in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami last month.

“Airlines are subject to the volatility of fuel prices in the same manner as motorists at petrol stations,” Mr Brown said.

However with the Australian dollar surpassing $1.09 against the US dollar, Australian travellers have been provided with increased spending capabilities when it comes to travel, including accommodation, car rental and general expenses, he added.

While the cost of airfares has increased this year in line with rising fuel costs, this has been offset by other factors in the market, such as the strong Australian dollar, making it an attractive time for Australians to travel, Mr Barry said.

Virgin Blue, Qantas and Air New Zealand have also raised fares and fuel surcharges. Starting May 10, passengers on V Australia flights to Los Angeles will pay a $240 fuel surcharge one way, up from $165.