Faltering Airlines May Be Allowed To Dodge Domestic Fuel
India's civil aviation ministry is asking another government
bureau, the petroleum ministry, to do something to stop jet fuel
suppliers from refusing deliveries on short notice to airlines
which are struggling financially. The practice has disrupted
flights and stranded passengers when planes couldn't refuel.
Livemint.com reports Air India and Kingfisher Airlines have both
had fuel supplies snapped because they defaulted on payments to
three Indian oil companies. On February 3, Air India was unable to
refuel its planes at several locations on notice of only two hours,
disrupting more than a dozen flights.
In an interesting twist, India's Group of Ministers is said to
be considering allowing the airlines facing financial problems to
import their fuel, bypassing India's state-run oil companies and
their high taxes. Doing so would require an up-front expenditure by
the airlines to create the necessary infrastructure. Such a change
would require cabinet-level approval, and Kingfisher Airlines says
it will import fuel if allowed.