The boss of P&O Australia has pledged the line won’t impose fuel surcharges as the industry faces a serious dilemma: oil prices are soaring thanks to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Onboard the Pacific Explorer for her first commercial cruise in two years, Marguerite Fitzgerald, President of P&O Australia told Cruise Passenger: “There will not be a surcharge passed on to passengers.”
Ms Fitzgerald was firm in her response, adding that “another increase in oil price rises is nothing new when you look at the big picture over time.
“But this is something that we won’t be passing on to our passengers. It’s simply something we will be absorbing and we’ll ride the wave of it.”
Ten percent of the world’s crude oil comes from Russia. Since the invasion of Ukraine, and the sanctions placed on Russian exports, this means a massive supply of the world’s oil is left bobbing in the ocean unable to be touched. Some 62 million barrels to be exact… and increasing by the day. The price of remaining available oil is sky rocketing.
The P&O pledge is an impressive decision, considering the amount of money at stake in fuelling so many ships building back up to peak capacity… not to mention the massive financial losses already experienced in the past two years and three months since the beginning if the pandemic.
Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak the cruise industry in Australia was worth $5 billion per year in tourism dollars.
Ms Fitzgerald’s main objective, still in her first year as President for the company’s Australian operations, is to inspire passengers to return to cruising. She is quick to correct the view that we are now post-pandemic, instead stating that “we are now learning to live alongside Covid-19 and to have all the best measures in place to manage it as we move forward.”
Ms Fitzgerald says this includes having the highest standards on board the ships and says “this is just something else that we are going to have to live with.”
See the journey of Pacific Explorer on her first cruise here.