Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) or jet fuel prices were hiked by around 7.5 per cent on Wednesday, marking the third rise in a month. As per the state-owned oil marketing companies' data, with the current hike, the ATF price will rise by 2,922.94 per kilolitre (kl) in Delhi to Rs 41,992.81 per kl. In Kolkata, jet fuel will cost Rs 46,604.85 per kl; Rs 41,575.94 per kl in Mumbai; and Rs 43,332.53 per kl in Chennai.
Notably, ATF charges were increased by a record 56.6 per cent or Rs 12,126.75 per kl on June 1, while prices went up by Rs 5,494.5 per kl or 16.3 per cent on June 16.
With the start of domestic flights on May 25, the regulatory body Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had capped the fares according to seven bands for the next three months in order to keep flight tickets affordable. Now with the ATF prices going up, and considering cap on fare hike, the airlines will be faced with the difficult option of flying with limited planes or incur extra costs.
After the start of Unlock 2.0 from today, domestic flights and passenger trains have already been allowed in a limited manner. Their operations will be further expanded in a calibrated manner but the rising ATF charges must be a worry for airlines.
The ATF prices had significantly fallen in March before the flight operations were suspended in India. Due to very limited air traffic, prices dropped further in April. In February, the ATF prices in Delhi were in the range of Rs 60-65,000 per kl.