Thursday, September 12, 2013

Domestic airline operators hike fuel surcharge

The air travel is becoming costlier affair day by day thanks to the inefficiency of state oil monopoly and the rising prices of fuel in the international market.
The private airliners are increasing fuel surcharge by Rs 80 on Kathmandu-Simara route, to Rs 270 on Kathmandu-Dhangadi route depending on the distance effective from Sunday.
The fuel surcharge upward revision that is the second time in a month followed the hike in aviation fuel by the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) by Rs 7 to Rs 137 per litre from a day before yesterday.
Earlier too, on August 10, the NOC had hiked Air Turbine Fuel (ATF) by Rs 10 to Rs 130 per litre.
The hike in aviation fuel prices has forced the airliners jack up fuel surcharge to cut their losses, the airline operators said. They can hike fuel surcharge, if the aviation fuel price goes up by over Rs 4 per litre.
In the last 18 months, the airline operators have increased airfare by Rs 2,500 on long-haul routes and Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200 on short ones.
They claim that the fuel costs account for almost 35 per cent of the total cost of the airlines. The frequent hike in aviation fuel price is hitting the airlines as the number of air travelers has gone down.
According to the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), the domestic air traffic dropped by 3.60 per cent year-on-year to 772,873 in the first six months of 2013.
Though, the loss-making NOC is enjoying Rs 27.51 on a litre of aviation fuel, it is trying to cover the loss of other petroleum products from the aviation fuel.

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