Crisis-hit airlines industry has reiterated its plea for some sort of relief from the government to get the airlines back to health.
Though price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) has come down from Rs 73 a litre in August 2008 to Rs 32 in Mumbai currently, the financial conditions of airlines are precarious. They still lose a lot of money due to high cost of operations and lower income from passenger service. Airlines are expected to report a combined loss of around Rs 8,000 crore by the end of this fiscal.
“The industry needs some relief package from the government by way of reduction in sales tax on ATF and cut in landing charges,” said Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, CEO, Jet Airways.
Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya for the past few months has been urging the government to put ATF under the declared goods category so that it could attract an uniform sales tax of 4 per cent.
“The government should bring down the route navigation charges and landing fees,” said M Thiagarajan, managing director, Paramount Airways. “This would help us at a great extent. This is well under the control of the ministry of civil aviation and they can do it without approaching higher ups.”
With active support from Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, the airline bosses had almost convinced former finance minister P Chidambaram for a package. But the matter could not be taken up in the last Parliament session as the Mumbai terror attack changed the course of discussions.