Taiwanese airline to cut flights as fuel prices soar


TAIPEI (AFP) — Leading Taiwanese airline EVA Airways said Monday it would cut international flights by up to 10 percent due to the pressure of soaring fuel costs.

The reduction of five to 10 percent in the three months to November would eliminate 60 to 80 flights, a spokeswoman for the airline said.

“Long-haul flights, in particular, to Amsterdam, Los Angeles and San Francisco will be most affected. We expect the flight cuts will alleviate pressure from high fuel costs,” she added.

The firm would evaluate whether to continue the cuts after the three-month period. Its move comes after rival China Airlines chopped monthly flights by 10 percent from last month.

A number of Asian airlines have cut flights and raised fuel surcharges to try and cope with surging oil prices, which hit fresh record highs above 147 dollars per barrel on Friday.

Malaysia Airlines had axed 15 loss-making routes, mostly to China and India, as it pared back operations to survive high fuel prices, a report said earlier July.

The aviation industry association IATA has also said that twenty-five airlines went bust or stopped operations in the first six months of 2008, warning more could fold due to high fuel prices.

EVA Airways posted a loss of 2.29 billion Taiwan dollars (75.27 million US) in the three months to March, after slumping 1.87 billion dollars into the red in 2007.