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    Apr 2011

    Default Reliance Industries in talks with airlines for fuel supply

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    Reliance Industries is in talks with India's major airlines to provide jet fuel infrastructure and transport services, the company said on Wednesday, a day after a government panel approved direct fuel imports for carriers.

    Oil and gas major Reliance is negotiating with airlines including Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways and Air India to provide storage facilities at ports, transport services to airports and fuelling infrastructure around the aircraft, a spokesman said.

    "We have been approached by a number of airlines to provide infrastructure and logistics for directly-imported jet fuel," a he said.

    "The discussions are still ongoing, and any agreements will depend on what kind of services they need. We are ready and willing to provide all three."

    A government panel on Tuesday approved allowing India's cash-starved airlines to import their own jet fuel; a move that could help them cut fuel costs which account for about half of their operation costs by up to 20 percent.

    The decision, which needs cabinet approval, will allow airlines to avoid various federal and state taxes levied by state-run oil firms, but will require carriers to set up extensive infrastructure to store and transport the fuel.

    Indian airlines are likely to lose up to $3 billion in the fiscal year ending March, according to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, as carriers struggle due to high fuel costs, cutthroat competition and a slowdown in the economy.



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