SpiceJet allowed to directly import ATF

Mumbai, April 18: SpiceJet Ltd has became India’s first low-cost private airline to get government approval for importing aircraft turbine fuel (ATF) directly.

The approval was granted by the Director-General of Foreign Trade under the ministry of commerce & industry, clearing the airline’s application to source ATF directly from overseas suppliers, a top company official said Wednesday.

“We are negotiating with leading oil marketing companies and are hopeful of starting fuel imports in due course,” said Neil Mills, SpiceJet’s chief executive officer.

He said the aviation sector would benefit from fuel imports due to the high price of ATF in India.

“Importing fuel from overseas market at comparatively lower price will help us considerably bring down operational costs,” he said.

SpiceJet runs 270 flights daily to 32 domestic and two international destinations.

The move follows a February decision by the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) to permit domestic airlines to import jet fuel directly from abroad.

Last month, Air India, the national carrier, also announced plans to import ATF directly from international suppliers to save on additional costs by way of state taxes.

The Air India board had also approved hedging of jet fuel up to 20 percent of its international intake and earmarked a specific amount for this in its budget.

IANS