The Jakarta Post
State-owned energy holding company Pertamina has stopped the import of jet fuel or avtur since January following a decrease in consumption by aviation companies.
“The flight [frequency] is lower now, so we decided to stop importing in January. Hence, our stock of avtur now will last 42 days, while last year, it stood for only 30 days,” said avtur distributor Pertamina Aviation, a Pertamina subsidiary, vice president Eldi Hendry in Jakarta on Monday.
Eldi said decreased consumption of avtur had been seen at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng, Banten, and in western Indonesia.
“Meanwhile for flights in eastern Indonesia, like Bali, it is slightly better as these regions depend heavily on air transportation because of their archipelagic characteristics,” he said.
In the first quarter of 2019, flag carrier Garuda Indonesia decreased its seat capacity, which subsequently led to lower flight frequency.
According to the company’s first quarter presentation, the entire Garuda group transported roughly 10 million passengers, 15.2 percent lower than the figure in the first quarter of 2018 of 11.8 million.
Meanwhile, the group's avtur consumption in the first quarter of 2019 stood at 623.8 million liters, also 15.2 percent lower than the figure in the corresponding period of 2018 of 736.3 million liters.
In response to requests from tourism businesses, the government has attempted to push down the high prices of airplane tickets, which has been blamed for stagnation in the tourism industry and the low occupancy rates of hotels in many tourist destinations.
Pertamina was also blamed for selling avtur at too high a price. In response to this criticism, Eldi said it was unfair to compare avtur prices in Singapore and Indonesia. “Don’t compare our price with the price in Singapore. We handle 64 airports in Indonesia and we have to subsidize the price of avtur in remote airports, such as in Kaimana Airport in West Papua.” he said.
Data from Pertamina Aviation shows that the price of avtur, which is listed as Jet A-1, at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport was Rp 8,180 (58.4 US cents) per liter, excluding value added tax (VAT) of 10 percent and income tax of 0.3 percent.
The price before tax of Pertamina’s avtur is above the Asia and Oceania average of $83.39 per barrel, which is equivalent to around 52 US cents per liter. (bbn)