Monday, July 24, 2006

Airlines burn Rs 350 cr per year on ‘holding’

Mumbai: Domestic airlines burn Rs 350 crore of fuel annually on ‘holding’—an industry term for idling in the air, or on the ground. Aircraft have to hover in the air for 30-45 minutes on an average at different airports, particularly Delhi and Mumbai, due to excessive traffic, fewer runways, poor airport infrastructure and outdated air traffic control (ATC) equipment.
It is estimated that airlines waste fuel worth Rs 96 lakh every day due to this, which amounts to an additional burden of 10% on their aviation turbine fuel (ATF) bills. ATF, which is currently priced at around Rs 46,565 per kilolitre, accounts for 30% of the total operating expenses.
Generally, the ATC allots sequence numbers to aircraft for landing. In the Mumbai-Delhi sector, this number can go as high as 30. With each aircraft taking about two minutes to land after being sequenced, the waiting time can, at times, last up to more than an hour.
23/07/06 Sagar Malviya & Neelasri Barman/Financial Express
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