Jet fuel prices have risen in Qatar, although officials are unwilling to state by how much.
An official of Qatar Jet Fuel Company told The Peninsula: "Prices of aviation fuel have risen and yes, it is having an effect on airlines here." However, he said, if the national carrier — Qatar Airways — was feeling the effects too badly, all it had to do was raise ticket prices.
Qatar Airways is somewhat cushioned from high fuel prices in that it has a long-term agreement with Qatar Jet Fuel. Nevertheless, the airline is believed to be looking at some cost-cutting measures as it has to pay prevailing market rates overseas. The airline has just embarked on fuel hedging exercises as a means of staving off the effects of high prices.
Among measures being considered by the airline to reduce fuel wastage are reducing the thickness of in-flight magazines and cutting down on the amount of water carried on board. Often, much of the water goes waste once a flight returns to its home base. However, passenger service will not be affected.
The official said: "Everything is related to the increase in the price of oil and jet fuel price rises have had a global effect. However, we have a long-term agreement with Qatar Airways."
Unlike crude oil, jet fuel prices do not fluctuate on a day-to-day basis, the official said.
He said: "Even though aviation fuel prices are high, they do not vary
day-to-day as is the case with oil."
Jet fuel accounts for a substantial part of an airline's budget -- anything from 40 percent and above. The recent rise in prices has caused several airlines to shut shop, with Silverjet and Eos being two examples. Other airlines have curtailed several routes deemed to be loss-making, while fuel charges slapped on ticket prices have made even low-cost carriers an expensive proposition for prospective flyers, especially outside the GCC region.
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