The Maldives Journal has learnt that Velana International will exhaust its jet fuel stock on 6th September 2021 as per current sales at the airport.
The next shipment is expected to arrive on 7th September, and after discharge, settling samples, and testing, the product will be available on 10th September for airlines.
Hence, the management of Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) has decided to ration the amount of fuel for each flight. If they cannot achieve the rationed planned amount, the airport might have to shut down for two days according to some sources.
Speaking to TMJ, Ibrahim Noordeen a board member of MACL stated that, State Trading Organization (STO) had some issues in loading. He said that similar incidents have happened some years back. In addition, he stated that the management will work out some solutions and that VIA operations will not be suspended.
Meanwhile, MACL is also planning to increase the price of jet fuel sold to airlines. At the moment one liter is sold for USD 0.8573, but with the price hike, one liter will be sold for USD 0.87752. According to people with first-hand knowledge of the matter, the purpose is to pressure on the airlines to reduce uplift.
The price hike will have an adverse effect on airlines flying to the Maldives from Europe. For instance, usually, an A330 of Lufthansa purchases 66,509 liters of jet fuel, which costs USD 57,018.17. With the price hike, it will cost USD 58,362.98 to purchase the same quantity.
Speaking about the measures taken by MACL, a former official of MACL stated that it will affect airlines coming to the Maldives He stated that airlines will have to bring fuel enough to return back, which will force them to reduce the number of passengers and cargo they can lift to the Maldives. He also stated that it will affect business continuity and confidence of airlines on the airport operator as well.