Airline losses could double if aviation fuel price not reduced

June 4th, 2008 - 8:41 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) Air operators in India have reported a cumulative loss of Rs.40 billion in 2007-08 and this figure is likely to double in the current fiscal with aviation fuel prices going north, Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Chawla said Wednesday. Chawla, who met airline operators here, later told reporters that the airlines have reported huge losses especially due to high fuel costs.

State-run oil firms hiked aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices by 18.5 percent May 31 in step with rising international oil prices. The ATF price has been raised to Rs.69,227.08 per kilolitre in Delhi.

“In fact there are substantial losses being reported by the airlines in India,” Chawla said.

“We have asked airline operators to prepare a specific details of their areas of concern which could be submitted by the Civil Aviation Minister (Praful Patel) to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.”

Chawla said the ministry would inform the prime minister about the concerns of the aviation industry and suggest ways to provide relief for the sector. “We will have to seek relief so that the aviation industry keeps going.”

Patel had said Monday that his ministry was unhappy with rising aviation fuel prices, which he said was causing major losses to the airline industry.

The airlines have assured the government that they would pass on to the passengers any benefits they received from the government.

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