High crude oil prices on Wednesday led OMCs to hike aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices by over 18 per cent to more than Rs 1 lakh per kilolitre, the steepest hike ever. Accordingly, in the national capital, the price of jet fuel was raised by 18.32 per cent to Rs 1,10,666.29 per kilolitre (kl) from Rs 93,530.66 per kl. In the other metro cities of Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, the price was increased to Rs 114,979.70, Rs 109,119.83 and Rs 114,133.73 per kiloliter, respectively.
“The current hike in ATF prices is due to high crude oil cost which has been rising due to geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine,” said Bhanu Patni, Senior Analyst, India Ratings and Research. “We have seen ATF prices rise by over 40 per cent since the start of 2022,” Patni added.
The hike is expected to impact aviation companies’ finances that are under huge stress amid high debt. Fuel retailers revise jet fuel prices on a fortnightly basis. At present, fuel-based expenses account for over 35 per cent of the overall operating cost of an airline.
India presently has some of the world’s highest rates of taxation on the ATF, which massively drives up the fuel cost component. The industry has been urging the Centre to include the fuel type in the ambit of GST, similar to the status given to ‘Bunker Diesel’ which is used in the shipping sector.