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MACL fuel demand hikes as Lanka cease aircraft refueling

Mohamed Rehan
06 July 2022, MVT 08:40
During the joint press conference by STO and MACL on Tuesday, July 5 -- Photo: Fayaz Moosa/Mihaaru
Mohamed Rehan
06 July 2022, MVT 08:40

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) has raised concerns over growing demands for jet fuel from airlines.

According to the company, aircraft refueling was previously maxed out at 10,000 liters per day for planes whereas the demand surge has bumped this to 40,000 liters per day.

The Deputy Managing Director of MACL Mr. Ibrahim Thoha noted that catering to such rising demands may pose challenges to the company.

"All return flights from Sri Lanka are landing here [VIA] for refueling while some of these planes are refueling at extensive capacities. The demand has exponentially risen, which is a challenge for us," Thoha said.

Due to oil scarcity in Sri Lanka amid the ongoing political and economic tension, Maldives is looked upon as the closest refueling alternative in the area.

Meanwhile, MACL claims that its work scope has expand into procuring jet fuel for flights making landings in Sri Lankan airports as well.

Speaking in this regard, Mr. Thoha had assured refueling services will be available for flights of all airlines operating to VIA but within set limitations and guidelines.

The Managing Director of MACL Mr. Mahujoob Shujau explained the company's decision of placing restrictions on fuel purchase.

According to Mr. Shujau such limitations were necessary to avoid airlines from making extensive purchases that would deplete MACL's capacity to provide jet fuel for airlines proportionately.

The delay in jet fuel restocking at Velana International Airport (VIA) was another reason for MACL's decision to place limitations on fuel sale.

Explaining about this delay, the Managing Director of State Trading Organization (STO) - the primary fuel supplier to MACL - Mr. Hussain Amru said that the delay was felt due to a comparatively higher demand for fuel against the original order placed.

He further clarified that purchasing policies dictate STO to place orders one month in prior.

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict demanded significant diversions in flight routes which concentrated heavy traffic to Velana International Airport (VIA) subsequently.

Mr. Amru further claimed that STO keeps buffer stocks of fuel to ensure counter-measures against possible scenarios of complete oil scarcity.