Binter Airlines and Armas ferry companies in the Canary Islands say that due to soaring oil prices they may have no choice but to put fares up again.

They were initially reluctant to increase their costs, and they have now reached a point where they cannot sustain the extra costs without endangering viability.

The price of a barrel of oil broke the $130 barrier recently, over double the price at the start of the year, and inter-island journeys are heavy users of fuel.

Binter, the region’s biggest airline (over three million passengers a year) says it does not rule out seeking government authorisation to add a surcharge to tickets of one or two euros in order to offset the oil price increase.

Ferry operator Armas has promised to do its best not to pass on the increase but is ‘monitoring developments closely’.