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Airfare hike on the cards

Airfares are likely to go up further due to spiralling prices of ATF that have gone up by over Rs 6,000 per kilolitre, reports Samiran Saha.

india Updated: Dec 05, 2007 23:14 IST
Samiran Saha

Airfares are likely to go up further in the days to come due to spiralling prices of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) that have gone up by over Rs 6,000 per kilolitre, G.R. Gopinath, executive chairman of Deccan Aviation, said on Wednesday on the sidelines of an event organised by online travel solution provider Cleartrip.com.

Since the revision of ATF prices on December 1 by oil marketing companies, a kilolitre of ATF now costs Rs 47,444.14 in the Capital; it costs Rs 53,371.47 per kilolitre in Mumbai. Similarly, ATF prices for international carriers have also gone up by 12-13 per cent in the country.

Following the hike in ATF prices, domestic carriers have imposed a fresh fuel surcharge of Rs 300 on all tickets across all segments from December 1. In October, airlines had imposed a fuel surcharge of Rs 150 on all tickets.

“The average realisation per ticket for the airlines in the domestic sector should go up by Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 to help them offset their losses,” Gopinath said, adding that airlines have suffered losses in last two quarters of the fiscal year 2006-07 as a result of a continued increase in ATF prices.

Gopinath said the board will take a decision on the merger of Deccan with Kingfisher after looking into various aspects.

He, however, added: “Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines will continue to be two separate airlines entities, two separate airlines and we (Deccan) will not become a full-service carrier. We will continue to cater to a separate clientele.”

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines recently acquired 46 per cent share in the erstwhile Air Deccan. On plans to bid for low-cost airports with a consortium comprising the GVK Group, Rahejas and Deccan Aviation, Gopinath said: “We will bid for the proposed low-ost airports at Bellary, Hampi, Gulburga and Shimoga.”