Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Monday the government would make an environment-friendly aviation action plan by 2035. He was speaking on the occasion of budget passenger carrier SpiceJet successfully operating India’s first test flight partially powered by bio-fuel on Monday.
A concoction of biofuel mixed with aviation turbine fuel (ATF) powered a SpiceJet’s Q400 flight which was flown between Dehradun and Delhi on Monday. It was received by Cabinet ministers and airline officials at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Terminal 2.
Flagged off the maiden Bio-Fuel flight by SpiceJet this morning with @jayantsinha, MoS, Civil Aviation, @dpradhanbjp, M/o Petroleum & NG, @nitin_gadkari, M/o Transport & Highways and @drharshvardhan, M/o for Science & Technology, Environment, Forest & Climate Change. pic.twitter.com/Szd8YLjg8u
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) August 27, 2018
The development assumes significance as the high ATF prices have dented the Indian airline sector with almost all players reporting losses for the first quarter of 2018-19.
Currently, fuel prices constitute 50-55 per cent of the overall operations cost of domestic airlines. India’s ATF prices are one of the highest in the world due to the addition of state levies and taxes.
The fuel is not under the GST ambit like the bunker fuel used for the shipping industry.
Accordingly, a cabinet note on the standardization, use and policy of bio-fuel blended with ATF will be prepared soon, said Road Transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari at the media briefing after the arrival of the flight.