Flights likely to get costlier; Aviation Turbine Fuel sees 18% price hike; steepest ever

Jet fuel prices were hiked by over 18 per cent – the steepest ever increase – to all-time high levels after international oil price surged to a multi-year high. The increase – sixth straight this year – led to prices soaring past the Rs 1-lakh-per-kilolitre mark for the first time ever.

Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) – fuel for aircrafts – was hiked by 17,135.63 per kl, or 18.3 per cent, to Rs 110,666.29 per kl in the national capital, according to a price notification by state-owned fuel retailers. Jet fuel prices are revised on the 1st and 16th of every month based on the average international price of benchmark fuel in the preceding fortnight.

International oil prices had climbed to a 14-year high of near $ 140 per barrel last week on fears of supply disruption following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Rates have since mellowed to around $ 100 per barrel.

In Mumbai, ATF price soared to Rs 109,119.83 a kl and it costs Rs 114,979.70 in Kolkata. Jet fuel is priced at Rs 114,133.73 per kl in Chennai. Jet fuel, which makes up for almost 40 per cent of the running cost of an airline, has this year surged to new highs.

The previous peak of Rs 71,028.26 per kl was recorded in August 2008, when international crude oil prices touched $ 147 per barrel. Brent crude oil on Wednesday was trading just above $ 100 per barrel. ATF prices have increased every fortnight since the start of 2022. In six hikes beginning January 1, ATF prices have been increased by Rs 36,643.88 kl or almost 50 per cent.

Unlike ATF, petrol and diesel prices continue to remain on freeze for a record 132nd straight day on Wednesday. The daily price revision was put on hold on November 4, 2021, just as electioneering to elect new governments in states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab started. Cooking gas LPG prices too have been on freeze since October, when they touched Rs 900 per cylinder.

Shekhar Ghosh is a communications consultant and and former journalist, who has edited and written for publications such as like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today and Outlook.

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