[photopress:air_refuelling_1.jpg,full,alignright]Aside from cutting jobs and reducing flights, airlines all over the world are finding every way possible to further diminish their soaring aviation fuel bill.
The added measures being undertaken include cleaning the aircraft of grime, less water for the taps in the washroom and changing seats with lighter ones.
Then there are ways of making the passenger pay the extra. In Bangkok last week some airlines were charging for each case checked in. And in the UK some airlines now charge you for checking in.
Unless fuel prices go down, the collective fuel bill of all American air carriers will top $61.2 billion in 2008, a fivefold jump from 2002 levels.
Many airlines are canceling flights, selling off old and therefore inefficient aircraft. In the United States Northwest will retire DC-9 jets, American Airlines will sideline its MD-80s and United will temporarily rest six 747s.[photopress:air_refuelling2_1.jpg,full,alignleft]
Duplicate flight manuals will no longer be carried, instead half of the set will be carried by the pilot and the other half by the first officer. There are plans to discard printed manuals.
China Airlines and Eva Airways, Taiwan’s major carriers, have announced they will reduce their flights by as many as 100 passenger flights a month.
This is a major crisis for the airline and for the tourist industry.
On a British Airways flight out of London the writer had three seats. This has not happened for years.
Some hotels in Asia are already finding their advance orders are now. And there is still plenty of hotel space for the Olympics.
If the price of oil surges higher this problem will get much, much worse and many airlines will go to the wall.