High fuel prices have forced Qantas Airways Ltd to hike fares for Australian and trans-Tasman flights for the second time since February.
Qantas says fares on domestic routes and flights to to regional centres would rise by up to $10 per sector.
Meanwhile, ticket prices would increase by up to eight per cent for trips to and from New Zealand.
The increase, announced on Thursday, were for tickets issued on or after March 31 and comes on top of a similar move in February this year.
The national flag carrier has also twice raised fuel surcharges for tickets on international flights to the US, Europe, South Africa and elsewhere.
Qantas chief executive Alan said since the last round of increases in February jet fuel prices had gone up by a further 15 per cent to sit at $US134 a barrel.
Mr Joyce described the situation as a “major concern” for the Qantas group of airlines and represented a significant threat to carriers around the world.
“The situation today is very different to the last fuel crisis, when the global economy was strong,” Mr Joyce said in a statement.
“This time, the world is still emerging from the global economic crisis, and demand is still recovering.”
Fuel costs were expected to reach $2 billion in the second half of 2010/11, Qantas said.
Figures from the airline showed Singapore jet fuel was at its highest level since 2007/08, and prices in the second half of 2010/11 were expected to be 20 per cent higher than in the first half.
Mr Joyce said the airline group could not rule out further increases in fares and surcharges in the future.
“Even with favourable hedging in place, it is still at a much higher price than we can absorb,” Mr Joyce said.
“In spite of this hedging offset, fuel surcharges and fare increases, we will not be recovering the full impact of current and forecast fuel prices.”
Qantas, as well as its peers in the region Air New Zealand Ltd and Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd and other carriers globally, have all lifted air fares or raised fuel surcharges this year in response to the spiralling cost of jet fuel.
Virgin Blue on Wednesday foreshadowed a full year pre-tax loss due to the impact of jet fuel prices and natural disasters in Queensland and New Zealand.
A Qantas spokesman said the airline’s earnings guidance given in February, which was for full year underlying profit before tax for 2010/11 to come in “materially higher” that the prior year, was unchanged.
Qantas shares closed up four cents, or 1.91 per cent, at $2.13.