KATHMANDU, June 7: The Airlines Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) has demanded that the government reduce the price of aviation fuel for the smooth operation of the domestic air service.
As the government prepares to resume domestic flights that have been suspended since March 22 amid the fear of COVID-19 transmission while traveling, AOAN issuing a statement on Sunday, asked for the revision. While Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has not revised the fuel prices according to the price reference set by the Indian Oil Corporation, airlines operators have demanded that the price be revised before the air services are resumed in Nepal. NOC has priced aviation fuel at Rs 65 per liter.
Stating that aviation fuel is the main part of the operation of air service, airline operators have said that the price of aviation fuel must be maintained with only Rs 10 profit per liter to make the service accessible and beneficial. “If the aviation fuel’s price is not revised, the operators will not be able to operate air service,” AOAN said.
The government through the budget speech for fiscal year 2020/21 had announced the exemption of infrastructure development charge on aviation fuel and removal of customs duty on the fuel.
The association has suggested to the Ministry for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to lobby for letting aircraft operate as per their capacity, make arrangements so that air crew do not have to be quarantined in the destination, let taxi and other public vehicles along with hotels and restaurants operate.