Official: Iran's airlines can't pay fuel bill
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 3/Trend M. Moezzi
The head of Iran's airline association has rejected the fuel bill aviation companies have been sent by the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC).
Seyed Abdolreza Mousavi, who heads the Association of Iranian Airlines, said the NIOPDC's fuel bill is an unrealistic amount and airlines don't owe $130 million (USD) for fuel, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reports.
Mr. Mousavi said that until late June of last year, aviation fuel cost 1000 rials and since then it has been 2000 rials (Iran's official exchange rate is 12,260 rials to the dollar). The NIOPDC however charges 4000 rials for the fuel it sells the airlines, an amount says Mr. Mousavi, the airline association never agreed to.
It would be impossible for the airlines to pay 4000 rials for fuel when the public pays for tickets that are based on a 2000 rial fuel rate and until ticket prices go up, the NIOPDC has to keep fuel rates the same, said the association chief. The airlines he added, don't have the money to pay the NIOPDC's bill.