Persistently high oil prices are piling the pressure on airlines and cutting profit predictions for the coming year, many in the industry have claimed.
Oil prices have abated somewhat in recent days, slipping back below the $90 per gallon mark, but airlines across the world have claimed that jet fuel hikes have made business harder for them.
The China National Aviation Fuel Group Corporation (CNAF) today raised the aviation oil price by CNY 210 per tonne (£15), spiking the costs for national carriers such as China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines and http://www.skyscanner.net/airline/airline-air-china-ca.html. But the growing air travel industry in the Asian nation is not only in feeling the pinch of oil prices that have in recent months risen toward the $100 per gallon mark, with leading fuel-dependent international carriers contemplating dramatic measures to counter it.
US Airways said that rising jet fuel costs could swallow up its entire yearly profits, with chief executive Doug Parker claiming: "What we are spending on oil is more than enough to push everyone to a pretty big loss."
Consolidation measures could be the order of the day at airlines threatened by the price hike, with Delta Air Lines reportedly giving the go-ahead for merger talks and a possible deal with either United Airlines or Northwest Airlines.