Senator urges end to fuel surcharge, industry says revenues still short

Calling on airlines to roll back the fuel surcharges they imposed as oil soared to record prices, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., noted on Monday that the cost of jet fuel has fallen 45% since July. "It's deceptive to say you still need a fuel surcharge when aviation fuel prices are down $2 per gallon," Menendez said in a letter to 11 U.S. carriers. "It's just wrong." Several airlines said they were monitoring fuel costs but noted that the industry is still losing money. "Even with decreases, jet fuel prices are just now about the same as a year ago, and they are still 30 percent higher than this month in 2006, the last full year in which we were profitable," said a spokesman for American Airlines. Volatile fuel prices continue to weigh on the industry as a whole, according to the Air Transport Association. "The U.S. airline industry continues to operate with uncertainty," an ATA spokesman said. "We're going to lose several billion dollars this year."

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