RIL in talks with airlines over fuel import logistics

Reliance Industries Ltd is in talks with several airlines to provide infrastructure and transport services for imported jet fuel, the company said on Wednesday, a day after a panel of union ministers approved direct fuel imports.

The confirmation came after reports that Kingfisher Airlines, which has been clamouring the loudest for direct aviation turbine fuel (ATF) imports, is in talks with RIL to use the oil and gas major's infrastructure and logistics to transport imported jet fuel from ports to airports and deliver it to the aircraft.

An RIL spokesperson said the company is negotiating with Kingfisher, Jet Airways, Air India, and others to provide storage facilities at ports, transport services to airports and fuelling infrastructure around the aircraft.

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

According to civil aviation minister Ajit Singh, direct fuel imports could help the airlines cut costs by up to 20 per cent, since ATF sold by Indian companies is perhaps the highest taxed in the world.