Refueling Company explains why Tajik aircraft are forced to land for refueling

Tajik airlines are forced to make landings for refueling at the airports of neighbouring countries. Air carriers explain this fact that they can not get the required amount of jet fuel in domestic (Tajik) airports. The Refueling Company speaks about the debts of Tajik airlines.

Somon Air, the Tajikistan’s private airline, officially announced in mid-August 2017 that from now on, all its flights from Tajik cities would last an hour longer due to the need for landing at the airports of neighbouring countries for refueling. The airline explained this by a shortage of jet fuel at Tajik airports.

However, such unforeseen landings have been periodically carried out by Tajik air carriers since May 2017. As a result, the time of flight increases, people experience discomfort and they are late for connecting flights at destination airports.

The Refueling Company OJSC, which owns the exclusive right to supply aviation fuel to Tajik airports and to refuel aircraft, explained the Asia Plus News Agency, Tajikistan, what really caused for the jet fuel deficit.

According to Ramazon Kurbonov, chief accountant of this Company, domestic air carriers have large debts to the supplier of aviation fuel.

“The debts of Tajik Air OJSC have already exceeded TJS 27 million, whereas Somon Air has even larger debts. In turn, we are forced to reduce jet fuel imports, as we acquire it from foreign refineries only on prepayment. At the beginning of the year, we imported 3,000 – 3,500 metric tons of jet fuel monthly. However, due to the lack of the necessary amount of money in recent months, supplies have fallen down to 2,000 metric tons,” he said.

Mr. Kurbonov continued that despite this, if possible, if the fuel is enough, the aircraft of the airlines refuel without any problems.

“But they can not pay even for 40% of the jet fuel they get from us, thus, they create problems,” he said.

According to Mr. Kurbonov, there are no such problems with foreign airlines, as they pay for jet fuel in time and in full.

He also said, “Our company also has its own expenses. We must pay salaries to our employees in a timely manner, pay taxes and customs fees, maintain our infrastructure and so on. Until now, we do not have any debts for our current expenses. However, if the situation does not change, and if the airlines do not return our money to us, then we will also have problems.”

Concerning the complaint of domestic airlines about the high cost of aviation fuel at Tajik airports, the Refueling Company said that aviation fuel market is under permanent analysis of the Antimonopoly Service under the Government of Tajikistan.

“This organization analyzes all our expenses and establishes the real cost of jet fuel,” said Amirkhon Rosikzoda, Deputy Chief Accountant, Refueling Company.

According to him, at the moment, one metric ton of aviation fuel is sold for US $ 1,120 in Tajik airports.

The antimonopoly authority considers the current cost of jet fuel to be quite fair. “If possible, prices are reduced. From the beginning of 2016 up to the present moment, the cost of each metric ton of jet fuel has decreased from US $ 1,883 down to US $ 1,120, that is by US $ 763 per ton. Currently, the real cost of a metric ton of aviation fuel in our country exceeds US $ 1,000,” the Antimonopoly Service said.

According to Saydali Zaripov, Chief of the Natural Monopolies Regulation Department, Antimonopoly Service, the remoteness of Tajikistan from exporting countries significantly influences the cost of aviation fuel.

Nazhar Odinozoda, the First Deputy Director, Antimonopoly Service, in turn, having compared the Tajik and Kyrgyz jet fuel suppliers, noted that for the latter, considering that it is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, each metric ton of imported jet fuel costs by $ 100 cheaper.

In addition, Mr. Odinozoda continued, the value added tax in Kyrgyzstan is 12%, and in Tajikistan – 18%.

“Also, the Tajik jet fuel supplier, in contrast to the Kyrgyz one, pays excise. All these factors directly affect the cost of jet fuel in Tajikistan,” he concluded.

The Refueling Company stressed that approximately 80% of aviation fuel is delivered by a long road from Russia, passing the state borders of the three countries.

The Refueling Company OJSC was established in 2009 under the restructuring of the Tajik Air SUAE (state unitary aviation enterprise). This company has the exclusive right to supply aviation fuel to Tajikistan and refuel aircraft.

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