Rising Fuel Prices, the Paris Air Show and More

Travel Blog  •  Rob Verger  •  06.16.09 | 3:12 PM ET

Photo by Clinton Steeds, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

What’s the fuel bill to fly a 757-200 across the country, from New York to Los Angeles?

About $21,600.

That, at least, was the cost of the fuel burned on a recent transcontinental Delta flight I was on, according to the flight’s captain. Out of 7,500 gallons of fuel on board, we burned about 6,760 gallons.

Clearly, the price of fuel is hugely important for airlines. And rising prices aren’t helping.

“Fewer people are flying for business or pleasure as the nation remains mired in recession,” USA Today reports. “The airlines took a financial hit this spring when the H1N1 virus—or swine flu—kept wary travelers off planes, particularly to Mexico. Now, rising fuel prices threaten to cut into revenue.” (The International Air Transport Association reports that the average price of fuel for the week of June 5 was $75.60 per barrel.)

Delta, for example, is dealing with all of this by, not surprisingly, further reducing capacity. The carrier “said it would cut more seats than planned, reducing capacity systemwide by 10% compared with last year,” USA Today reports. “Available seats on international flights will be cut by 15%, 50% more than it said in March.”

Meanwhile, the Paris Air Show is taking place this week. The New York Times has this special report and nice retrospective slideshow. For people interested in receiving updates from the show on Twitter, I recommend following @flightblogger and @RunwayGirl, both bloggers for Flight International who are at the show.

And, in the background to all this, the search goes on in the middle of the Atlantic, hundreds of miles from the coast of Brazil, for clues about what happened to Air France Flight 447. “In the deep waters of the mid-Atlantic,” the AP reports, “a Dutch ship towing a high-tech, U.S. Navy listening device was to began trolling Monday in search of the flight data and voice recorders that investigators say are key to determining what caused the Air France jet to crash into the ocean with 228 people on board.”

Rob Verger

Rob Verger is a frequent contributor to World Hum and the site's former air travel blogger. His articles and photographs have appeared in the Boston Globe and other publications, and he's a former undergraduate writing instructor at Columbia University. If you like, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or follow him on Twitter.

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