Airlines to discuss rising fuel prices with government

June 4th, 2008 - 12:16 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) Airline operators will meet civil aviation ministry officials Wednesday to voice their concern over rising aviation fuel prices. Though the meeting is a routine affair - it takes place every quarter, it assumes significance in the wake of the resentment among air operators over the recent hike in aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices.

Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Chawla will be present at the meeting.

The airline industry is concerned over the impact of the fuel hike and its repercussions on the financial health of their carriers.

State-run oil companies had Saturday hiked ATF prices by 18.5 percent, making the fuel cost Rs.69,227 per kilolitre in Delhi against Rs.58,387.92 earlier and Rs.76,625.68 per kilolitre in Mumbai against Rs.64,824.

The airlines responded by increasing the fuel surcharge, making air travel costly.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel Monday expressed concern over the hike in air fares and said he would discuss the issue of high state levies on ATF with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He said some airlines had informally told him they could prune or rationalise their air services as they were unable to sustain the high cost of aviation fuel.

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