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SpiceJet to conduct India’s first test flight partially powered by bio-fuel

NEW DELHI/DEHRADUN

Budget passenger carrier SpiceJet is set to conduct India’s first test flight which will be partially powered by bio-fuel, on Monday.

According to sources, a concoction of bio-fuel will power one of the turbine engines of a SpiceJet’s Q400 turboprop flight.

“This will be India’s first test flight using bio-fuels,” sources said.

“There will be government officials, who will monitor the parameters set up for such a test flight.”

The flight will be operated from Dehradun to Delhi. It will be received by key Cabinet Ministers and airline’s top management at IGI Airport Terminal 2.

Globally, bio-fuel powered flights are operated in Canada.

The development assumes significance as high air turbine fuel (ATF) prices have dented India’s domestic airline sector with all the major players reporting losses for the first quarter of 2018-19.

Currently, fuel prices constitute 45-50 per cent of the overall operations cost of domestic airlines.

India’s ATF prices are amongst the highest in the world due to the addition of state levies and taxes. The fuel is not under the GST ambit unlike the bunker fuel used in the shipping industry.

Besides, the success of the flight will pave the way for further testing and aide in fulfilling the central government’s move to curtail India’s dependence on crude oil imports.

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