Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Exclusive- Changing scenario- are ATF woes the thing of the past? Who will bell the cat?

Neelam Mathews
April 18, 2012

For a change, the government has put its words where its mouth is.

SpiceJet today said it has received approval from the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for importing aviation turbine fuel (ATF) directly from the overseas market. In doing this, it has become the first airline in the country to apply for approval for import of ATF and to get clearance for it.

The airline says it is presently negotiating with leading oil marketing companies and is hopeful to start importing fuel in due course.

This is going to make a big change in the way distribution is presently done in the country. Aerospace Diary learns discussions are already on with Reliance who may agree to take care of logistics of import and sale of ATF through their present facilities. It is likely the other oil companies will not stand and watch their business dry out. So, now the cost-cutting war will be on the apron front! How the tables may turn!

“…We are hopeful to commence the import of fuel in due course. Importing fuel from overseas market at comparatively lower price would help us to considerably bring down our operational cost,” SpiceJet, CEO Neil Mills said.

SpiceJet has over 17% market share operating 270 flights daily to 32 Indian cities and 2 international destinations using 32 Boeing 737-800 / 737-900ERs  and seven Bombardier Q400 aircraft for enhancing connectivity to Tier II and Tier III cities. The eighth Q400 is scheduled for delivery sometime in April, we hear.

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