Cathay rides out high fuel costs

Cathay Pacific's net fuel expenses rose by only 12.2% to HK$5.89 billion ($757 million) in the first half of 2006, compared to the same period last year, thanks to a stronger fuel hedging position. This was despite a 28.5% increase in the "average into-plane fuel price", said the Hong Kong-based airline in its interim earnings report.

The carrier has hedged 50% of its expected fuel needs for the rest of 2006, and so far is committed to hedging 25% for next year, said a spokeswoman.

Fuel