Dhaka, May 8 – Top officials of private airliners here on Tuesday sought government initiative to reduce price of jet fuels and remove discrepancy of fuel prices between domestic and foreign airliners.
At a pre-budget discussion they said the domestic airliners will face difficulties in keeping their services operational if the discrepancy is not removed.
“This overpricing and discrepancy in jet fuel price need to be addressed for our survival,” said US-Bangla Airlines CEO Asif Imran.
A foreign airliner pays Tk 65 per litre whereas a domestic airliner pays Tk 91 per litre for fuel, he said.
The official said if the domestic airlines depend on foreign airports like in Kuala Lumpur, huge foreign currency will be spent which is not good for Bangladesh.
Novoair Managing Director Mofizur Rahman also supported Asif and said they are not given any choice. “We are compelled to purchase the fuel at a price offered here. We have no choice.”
He said they are ready to pay VAT but the current fuel price is not within their reach.
Rahman said both the tourism and aviation sector will have to grow together. “We need to work together. Without aviation sector, tourism cannot flourish.”
In reply, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal said, “This is a logical proposal. I will look into it.”
He also asked parliamentary standing committee chairman on Civial Aviation and Tourism Ministry Faruk Khan to look into the matter during standing committee meeting.
Faruk Khan said he is fully agreed with the proposals came from various stakeholders. “Fuel cost should be the same.”
The Aviation and Tourism Journalists Forum of Bangladesh (ATJFB) hosted the pre-budget discussion at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU).
Acting chief executive officer of Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) Nikhil Ranjan Roy, Novoair Managing Director Mofizur Rahman, US-Bangla Airlines CEO Asif Imran, adviser of Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) Masud Hossain, Deputy Secretary General of Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) Nurul Alam Shaheen and BTB Director Zamiul Ahmed, TOAB adviser Faridul Haque and General Manager at Biman Bangladesh Airlines Shakil Meraj, among others, spoke at the discussion.
ATJFB President Nadira Kiron conducted the discussion while its general secretary Tanzim Anwar delivered welcome speech. -UNB