Cathay Pacific Airways plans to pre-purchase more of its future jet-fuel needs despite near record prices, to protect against further increases in the price of oil. Chairman David Turnbull said Cathay's board had set a goal of increasing the carrier's fuel hedging of projected consumption after interim results indicated its fuel bill had increased $2.8 billion compared with last year. 'We will try to hedge one-third of our future fuel needs,' Mr Turnbull said. Cathay's interim earnings fell a comparative 5.7 per cent to $1.67 billion despite record first-half sales, which expanded 21.5 per cent to $23.88 billion. 'It was a good result and more or less in line with what people were looking for,' said Peter Hilton, the head of transport research for Credit Suisse First Boston. Mr Turnbull said while forward bookings looked encouraging, the rising price of fuel could yet cool global economic growth and make it difficult to achieve a similar result in the second half.