Patel to meet PM over higher fuel prices
With airlines facing mounting losses due to skyrocketing fuel prices, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday to find ways to prevent the crisis, which is taking a toll on the aviation industry.
The civil aviation industry has faced a staggering loss of Rs 4,000 crore in 2007-08 and this could double in the current fiscal depending on the fuel prices, according to industry estimates.
Patel, who has expressed serious concern over the health of the industry, is joined by industry leaders, Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal and Kingfisher Airlines' Vijay Mallya, in raising concerns over the "crisis" situation, which industry experts feel could see some airlines going bust, like in the early 1990s.
Fearing such a situation, Patel has said, he would raise the concerns expressed by the airline industry. He is likely to make a presentation to the prime minister and Finance Minister P Chidambaram about the difficulties being faced by the aviation industry.
Some airline chiefs are also expected to join the meeting on Tuesday. The meeting comes in the backdrop of several airlines trying their best to curtail costs. Some of them are even contemplating pruning their services, delaying their fleet induction plans or even grounding some of their aircraft, experts said.
The airlines are also in a fix as they could not pass on the entire burden of fuel price hike to the travellers, as this would eat into their market share.
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