Airline flush with ideas on how to lighten costs burden All right, enough of this flushing profits down the toilet. Go do it in the bushes! China Southern has calculated that it takes one litre of fuel to flush an airplane at 30,000 feet, according to the Xinhua news agency. Which explains that really loud sucking noise airline toilets make. So, in order to save a few yuan, the airline is kindly requesting passengers to use the bathroom before they board. We dare not ask for extra peanuts. A survey by the company's logistics department found that filling the water tank only 60 per cent will save the airline another 47 million yuan. It failed to mention by how much this step would shorten the bathroom queue. Another easy weight loss trick is to toss the pillows and blankets, as each kilogram of such creature comforts uses 0.2 kg of fuel per hour. 'This means the blankets and pillows on board the aircraft eat up 60 tonnes of fuel every day. If each seat is loaded with three 450-gram magazines, another 60 tonnes will be consumed,' explained Captain Liu Zhiyuan who flies regularly between Hangzhou and Beijing. The last time we flew on China Southern it was near impossible to get the trolley dolly to hand over a second beer. Perhaps that was two expenses cut with one, er, flush. here's cheers to co-operation Hic! Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall ... Anyone who has done business in China knows that cementing business relationships and building common trust normally involves long boozing sessions. Well, it's no different in the accounting world, even if they are pegged as a boring lot. A young recruit with one of the Big Four told us about how they have to open the bottle before their clients will begin to open their books. No one escapes the rounds of bai jiu, not even the young women whose knees begin wobbling after the first few rounds of cheer. After innumerable gan bei the bean counters get to work ... if they can still follow the column of numbers all the way to the bottom line. After a particularly memorable guanxi building session one colleague was asked to take photos of the company's inventory. A quick inspection showed most of the photos were too blurry to use ... the poor lad was too drunk to hold the camera steady. Don't worry about mainland IPOs. Their books are all signed off on by reputable accounting firms. BOSSES GIVE thumbs-up for 2007 The bosses say it's all going well but they wish it were easier to find good workers. The first annual survey of Asian chief executives and chairmen by the Asia Business Council found that the suits in the corporate suite were bullish on the regional economy, with the quality of human resources, issues of energy supply and environmental protection and the influence of Sino-American relations topping their list of concerns. Ninety six per cent of the executives thought the business environment would be unchanged or better in 2007. But if things are going that well, it's time to find a better job and that's what has the execs worried. More than 83 per cent said access to high-quality human resources has a great impact on their business. And - are you listening Chief Executive Donald Tsang? - energy and environmental issues ranked ahead of social, business and geopolitical issues in terms of importance for business in the region, even though they might not have a direct impact on the executives' own business. That means dirty air matters even if you're not in the business of sky-writing. Some 75 per cent saw China's economy as the key driver for the respondent's own businesses. China, India and Vietnam are the hottest places to invest, according to the survey, with the US and Indonesia coming in fourth and fifth.