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Jet chief Goyal meets FM, seeks lower fuel rates

Jet chief Goyal meets FM, seeks lower fuel rates

The aviation industry is facing a slump globally and Jet is not insulated.

New Delhi: Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal met Finance Minister P Chidambaram in Delhi on Monday and discussed fuel dues owed by the airline to oil companies, a senior finance ministry official said.

Jet owes about Rs 8.9 billion that was due for payment by September 25. Similarly, its new ally Kingfisher Airlines owes Rs.1.10 billion, while India's flagship carrier, Air India has to pay Rs 6.06 billion to oil companies.

Faced with a liquidity crunch and falling passenger load, Jet and Kingfisher struck a strategic alliance last week to lower costs and rationalise operations.

According to the senior finance ministry official, Goyal also urged Chidambaram to rationalise tax on aviation fuel, which has long been the demand of Indian air carriers.

Jet announced the retrenchment of nearly 1,900 employees last week, soon after it announced its alliance with Kingfisher Airlines, but reinstated them later.

Indian carriers are losing financially due to slow passenger growth and high global oil prices. The airline is also contemplating returning some of its leased aircrafts, and has also stalled plans to expand its international operations.

first published:October 20, 2008, 17:52 IST