Oil firms slash ATF prices by 12%, no reduction in fares

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New Delhi, Nov 16 (UNI) State-owned oil marketing companies have slashed the price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) by a substantial 12 per cent, the third cut coming this month which brought down the prices by not less than 16 per cent in just a fortnight.

The cut of Rs 5,580 a kilolitre is in line with the fall in global crude oil prices, which are hovering at the 22-month low of about 55 dollars a barrel.

This is the fifth cut in ATF prices since August, when rates rose to an all-time high of Rs 71,028.26 a kilolitre.

The reduction in prices, which became effective from last midnight, marks a whopping 44.5 per cent, registering a fall from the unprecedented high in August.

As of now, prices, which are lowest for this year, stood at the levels of September 2007 when both fuel surcharge and base fares were much lower and ticket cost nearly 40-50 per cent less compared to current rates.

The sharp surge in jet fuel prices began in April when crude began its upward spiral.

ATF rates shot upwards constantly till August after which it fell just as fast, in five instalments so far.

The lower jet fuel prices, however, are not likely to result in lower air passenger fares, as airlines claim they are still making losses with fuel prices still high.

October was the fourth consecutive month when air passenger traffic fell.

ATF rates prices were reviewed mid-month for the first time yesterday after Petroleum Minister Murli Deora and Minister for Aviation Praful Patel decided last month to review prices every fortnight with the consistent fall in global crude prices.

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