Following a recent increase in bus fares and launches, air travelers could now face a situation similar to that of the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) which has once again raised the prices of jet fuel.
The price of jet fuel has increased 11 times since October last year, is expected to deal a further blow to the local airline industry, following the current economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Aviation industry insiders told The Daily Star that because of BPC’s decision, local airlines could lose competition in the global market.
Air travel will inevitably become more expensive as a result and it will be the passengers who will face the burden at the end of the day.
In its latest decision, BPC increased by 7 Tk for every liter of jet fuel which was 70 Tk in October, a Novoair official said.
As of October 2020, jet fuel was 46 Tk per liter, which means BPC has increased the price by 67% over the past 13 months, aviation industry sources said.
In December 2020, the cost of jet fuel per liter was 48 Tk, which rose to 53 Tk in January 2021. It was then 55 Tk per liter in February, 60 Tk in March and 61 Tk in April.
However, in May the price dropped by one taka per liter.
In June, the price of jet fuel per liter was 63 Tk, 66 Tk in July, 67 Tk in August and 70 Tk in October.
Kamrul Islam, managing director (public relations) of US-Bangla Airlines, said airlines around the world are receiving support from their governments to stay afloat during the pandemic.
“When we need government support urgently, BPC steadily raises jet fuel prices,” he added.
âUnder these circumstances, we will not be able to compete with our global competitor,â said KAmrul.
He said 40-46% of an airliner’s operating costs go to fuel.
KaziWahidulAlam, an aviation expert, said that in the face of the adverse effects of Covid-19, different countries are making plans for the survival of their airline industry.
“But our government has so far done nothing in this regard. Instead, it has increased the prices of kerosene without any logical explanation,” he said.