Fewer flights 'will hit the economy'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 June, 2008, 12:00am

Airlines cutting the frequency of flights to cope with the high cost of jet fuel will hurt the local economy, Director General of Civil Aviation Norman Lo Shung-man warned yesterday.

He said the soaring cost of fuel was affecting the global aviation industry and airlines were being forced to explore every possible way to cut fuel consumption.

'Of course, having fewer flights will mean a less active economy. We hope frequencies can increase to meet the needs of the market.'

In the past two to three months, some international airlines have cut the number of flights on some routes, merged their operations or gone out of business.

Mr Lo said the escalating price of aviation fuel was making airlines think seriously about the financial viability of continuing to serve certain routes.

Some carriers would also consider cutting the frequency of flights to ensure a maximum number of passengers on each flight.

Making planes lighter would save a lot of fuel, he said.