NEW YORK CITY, New York: Due to the surging cost of fuel caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. airlines have begun to reduce the number of flights offered to customers. Citing a sharp rise in fuel costs, Alaska Air said it will reduce its offerings by as much as 5 percent in the first half of 2022, while Allegiant Airlines will cut flights by 5 to 10 percent in the second quarter, its chief financial officer said. According to Bloomberg, Allegiant also plans to scale back its flight schedule, primarily during times of weaker demand. Air travel industry observers are concerned that high gas prices will force consumers to cancel their holidays and not fly as frequently. Therefore, airlines must make the choice of either allowing higher fuel costs to reduce their profits or pass along the extra costs to consumers. Amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to AAA data, the national average price of a gallon of gasoline was $4.25, as of March 9, shattering the previous record of $4.11 set in July 2008. If geopolitical tensions between Russia and Western nations escalate, analysts warn that prices could rise even higher. According to aviation data firm OAG, global airline capacity has dropped 0.1 percent to 82 million seats, remaining at 23 percent below the corresponding week in 2019 before the pandemic. This week, total scheduled airline capacity in North-East Asia dropped 4.5 percent from the previous week, more than any other region, while international capacity to and from the region remains 88 percent below the corresponding week in 2019.