Kingfisher gets approval to directly import jet fuel

Mumbai: After SpiceJet, cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines Thursday said it has received official approval to directly import jet fuel, a move that would help it reduce its operating costs to a significant extent.

"Kingfisher Airlines has received authorisation from the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) for the import of aviation turbine fuel on April 11 and we are taking active steps to initiate the process of ATF import," an airline spokesperson said.

Mallya`s airline is the second domestic carrier to have received DGFT approval for ATF import after budget carrier SpiceJet. Air India has also applied for such approval.

The airline was negotiating with leading oil marketing companies and was hopeful to start importing fuel in due course, SpiceJet`s chief executive Neil Mills said, adding that the airline industry would benefit from direct imports of fuel due to high ATF prices here.

A mix of taxes levied by state-run oil marketing companies and the state governments make jet fuel prices in India among the highest in the world. Currently, fuel costs account for almost half of an airline`s total operating costs.