Refuelling bar on mountain, chartered flights; air turbine fuel in short supply

After barring mountain and chartered flights from refuelling, daily consumption of ATF for domestic flights will come down by up to 14 kl

Kathmandu, October 2

As its stock of aviation turbine fuel has been dwindling following the continuous obstruction in supply of petroleum products on Nepal-India border, the Nepal Oil Corporation has said that it will not be able to extend refuelling facility to chartered flights and mountain flights from Sunday.

NOC has requested Tribhuvan International Airport to issue a notice to this effect to the chartered and mountain flight operators. NOC has already barred international airlines from refuelling at TIA as its stock has begun to dwindle following the continuous obstruction in the supply of petroleum products from India by protesters in the Tarai.

NOC spokesperson Deepak Baral said they took the decision to prevent mountain and chartered flights to refuel to ensure that the current stock of ATF would be enough for smooth operation of domestic flights and does not result in service disruptions till the end of Dashain festival.

“The current situation is the result of continuous obstruction in supply and the fact that we’ve not explored any option to bring ATF from a third country,” said Baral, adding, “We can save 12 to 14 kilolitres of ATF each day by cancelling mountain and chartered flights.”

After barring mountain and chartered flights from refuelling, the daily consumption of ATF for domestic flights will come down to 46 to 48 kl from 60 kl at present.

Though NOC had barred foreign carriers to refuel at TIA, all the international flights except China Southern Airlines have been operating their flights by managing ‘technical landing’ at the nearest airports of TIA for refilling, according to Devananda Upadhyay, general manager of TIA.

International airlines used to refill 250 to 300 kl of ATF every day at TIA.

“The notice issued for international airlines will be in place until the supply of ATF is normalised,” said Baral. At the request of NOC, TIA had issued a notice to international airlines that refilling will be barred at TIA until October 5.

Moreover, NOC has said its existing stock is enough to distribute fuel to public transportation for only two more weeks. NOC has been distributing fuel to the public transportation based on the odd/even licence plate system on alternate days.

It has already barred private vehicles from purchasing fuel from Thursday until Saturday. However, NOC said today that private vehicles would be allowed to purchase fuel only after the supply situation normalises.