updated 3/6/2008 2:13:22 PM ET 2008-03-06T19:13:22

Emirates Airline may seek cost savings of at least $100 million and raise fares as higher oil prices threaten the profit of the Middle East's largest carrier, the company's president said Thursday.

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"We'll have to raise fares and strip costs to compensate," Tim Clark said to DowJones Newswires in a phone interview. He did not elaborate which fares the airline might raise and by how much.

Clark said that fuel now accounts for 30 percent of Emirates' costs, up from about 14 percent in 2004.

Clark also said the airline — the biggest buyer of Airbus' new A380 planes — is considering cost savings of "at least $100 million" in the coming financial year and higher ticket prices.

British Airways also said Thursday that higher fuel costs will crimp its profitability.

Oil prices digested gains Thursday after rising to a trading record near $105 a barrel on a surprising drop in U.S. crude oil supplies and inaction by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on boosting output.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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