ATF prices hit record high, airlines may hike fares

Aviation turbine fuel prices touched their highest-ever level in India on Tuesday, making the struggle to survive for Covid-ravaged airlines even harder. A kilolitre (kl, or 1,000 litres) for domestic flights now costs Rs 86,038.2 in Delhi and Rs 84,505.6 in Mumbai, the two busiest airports in India. Officials across airlines say that given the situation the aviation ministry should now automatically raise domestic fare caps or the industry will need to ask for the same.
“ATF price has been hiked by Rs 6,743.2 per kl, or 8.5%, to Rs 86,038.1 per kl in Delhi. This is the highest-ever price touched by ATF (in India),” said an airline official.
The hike came on Budget day when the struggling industry got no relief, yet again. Ronojoy Dutta, CEO of India’s largest airline (by passenger carriage), IndiGo, said, “…we were expecting a tax concession for the aviation industry in the forms of a cut in ATF excise duty and allocation of concessional finance to airlines to help us come out of the pandemic.”
Finance minister N Sitharaman extended an emergency credit line guarantee scheme for the hospitality industry. “Hospitality and related services, especially those by micro and small enterprises, are yet to regain their pre-pandemic levels of business. Considering these aspects, ECLGS will be extended up to March 2023 and its guarantee cover will be expanded by Rs 50,000 crore to a total cover of Rs 5 lakh crore, with the additional amount being earmarked exclusively for hospitality and related enterprises,” the finance minister said in her Budget speech.

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