Vinay Kumar

NEW DELHI: Airlines are yet to offer any relief to their customers despite a 20 per cent cut in prices of jet fuel and oil companies getting an extension till March 2009 to clear their dues.

With the civil aviation sector looking set to post losses to the tune of Rs. 9,000 crore this year and a general downturn in the sector globally, airlines seem to be treading extremely cautiously. Aviation analysts feel that a cut in the form of fuel surcharge may come within next month or so but it was unlikely that airlines would go for reducing their fares.

While Jet Airways posted a loss of Rs. 800 crore last year, Kingfisher’s losses were put at Rs. 1,000 crore during the same period. Public sector Air India too suffered a loss of Rs. 2,100 crore last year and the carrier’s projected loss this year is expected to be around Rs. 4,000 crore.

Last month Jet Airways and Kingfisher, two bitter rivals in the sector, announced a rather unusual alliance of striking a synergy in the form of routes, ground handling and code share. Though the results are yet to be seen and felt on the ground by the customers, both Jet and Kingfisher look certain to fly in the turbulence as both of them are also carrying the burden of their acquisitions — Jet of Air Sahara, now renamed as JetLite, and Kingfisher of budget carrier Air Deccan.

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