Airlines to spend £58m extra in fuel as Border Force strike hits UK
Airlines are likely to spend an additional £57.9m in fuel due to the ongoing Border Force strikes, according to City A.M. calculations.
Members of the union PCS working at several UK airports, including Heathrow and Gatwick, are walking out from today to Boxing Day as well as between 28 and 31 December over salaries.
Industry sources have told GB News that long-haul pilots at British Airways were instructed to get fuel for an additional hour as they wait in the skies to avoid overcrowding airports.
Those working on short-haul routes will need to get fuel for an additional 30 minutes.
It is understood that more carriers will follow suit.
The contingency plans were described by sources as “essential but extremely costly” and a “huge setback” for an industry that is slowly returning to profitability.
“This is the very last thing airlines need as they try to rebuild their businesses after Covid,” a source told the outlet.
Insiders say that adding an extra hour worth of fuel could cost around £6,500 per flight and – as City A.M. understands that 8,910 flights are scheduled to land – this will lead to a total cost of £57.9m.
According to the GB News source, the additional costs will then be passed onto customers “in the form of increased ticket prices.”
Trade body Airlines UK was approached for comment.