Aviation

Airlines to offer discount schemes as fuel cost dips 12%

DELHI

Thanks to prices of crude oil coming down, the term fuel surcharge (FS) — a separate charge Indian carriers started levying about seven years back when oil prices began shooting up amid a slowing global economy — is all set to be junked from your air tickets.

Air India on Monday decided to have an all-inclusive base fare from April 1 as FS will be merged with that, reports The Times of India. The shift comes as other airlines (foreign and Indian) have also started removing this term from their fare structure.

In their latest price cut on Monday, oil marketing companies slashed aviation turbine fuel (ATF) or jet fuel prices by 12%. Now, the price (per kl) of ATF in Delhi and Mumbai is Rs 35,126 and Rs 34,284, respectively. Fuel prices were at lower level than this in June 2009 when the price in Delhi and Mumbai was Rs 32,302 and Rs 33,260, respectively.

While airlines did not comment if the lower ATF prices will lead to cheaper fares, they said they now have more leverage to offer discounted schemes to passengers. “We have anyway entered the lean travel period that will last till mid-April. All airlines are offering discounted fares to fill up planes during the lean season. Lower fuel cost will allow us to improve the quantum of cuts in these schemes as well as make them more frequent,” said a senior airline official.

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