Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Fresh blow to struggling airlines as jet fuel prices hiked by 48%

New Delhi: In a rude jolt to struggling-to-survive airlines, jet fuel price has been hiked by almost 50% in June. Now, a kilo litre (kl) of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) will cost Rs Rs 33,575, up by Rs 11,000 from last month. Schedule domestic flights had restarted last Monday only and the demand for air travel is so far very muted due to multiple factors like different quarantine rules in different states; concern over flying and overall poor economy.

For instance, aviation minister H S Puri Tweeted Sunday (May 31) saw 44,593 passengers on 501 domestic departures. This means an average of less than 100 on aircraft with seating capacity of up to 180. “Our average load factor has been in the range of 50%-60%. The tickets have mostly been one-way. Once this first wave of people stranded in different cities returning to hometowns is over, air travel will resume gradually as and when business activity picks up. Leisure travel is over for now and a long way off,” said an airline official.

For about a year till this February, ATF prices in Delhi were in the range of Rs 60-65,000 per kl. The prices started falling from March — by the end of which schedule flights had been suspended due to the nationwide lockdown. They touched their lowest point in recent times last month.
02/06/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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