The Ministry of Transportation is seeking international companies to invest in the local aviation fuel sector, which is currently posing a major challenge for local airlines, a minister said.
“Jet fuel is one of the main problems in Myanmar’s air transportation industry because it costs approximately a dollar more per gallon than refueling in other countries,” union minister for transportation U Nyan Tun Aung said.
“The president has instructed the government to solve this issue as soon as possible. We are now in the processing of making connections with companies that sell jet fuel in Asia with the hope of securing their investment,” the minister said.
“Tourists entering Myanmar by air has increased by 30 percent per year. However, local airlines operate at a loss due to the high cost and low quality of jet fuel. It’s important to help them turn a profit.”
There have been reports claiming that jet fuel sold by the Ministry of Commerce contains contaminants such as fungus that can damage the high-heated parts of engines, deterring foreign aircrafts from refueling in Myanmar.
If foreign investment pours into the local jet fuel market, increased competition is expected to help reduce the swollen fuel price, improve its quality and encourage foreign aircraft to refuel within Myanmar. This in turn will reduce the operating costsof airlines so they can turn losses into profit, industry insiders say.
Currently, the Ministry of Commerce is the sole supplier of jet fuel in Myanmar.