The economic crisis leading to Aviation fuel (ATF) shortage and soaring prices in Sri Lanka is prompting SriLankan Airlines to make pitstops at Indian Airports like ‘Chennai International Airport’ (MAA/VOMM) and ‘Thiruvananthapuram International Airport’ (TRV/VOTV), for refueling after taking off from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB/VCBI).
Recently, SriLankan Airbus A330-343 Aircraft (4R-ALN) made a fuel stop at Thiruvananthapuram (VOTV) en route to Melbourne (MEL) via flight UL604 (28th May). Flight Radar 24 Link showed that the flight was diverted to Thiruvananthapuram (VOTV) after take-off from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB/VCBI).
On 27th May, Airbus A330-343 Aircraft ( 4R-ALQ ) made a fuel stop at Chennai (VOMM) en route to Melbourne (MEL) via flight UL604. Flight Radar 24 Link showed the flight was diverted to Chennai after taking off from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB/VCBI).
The practice is expected to continue for some time from now, as similar Fuelling stops at Thiruvananthapuram (VOTV) are being planned to operate flights to Melbourne and Frankfurt on 30th May, June 1st, and 2nd.
Though the practice is common in aviation to make Fuel tankering to avoid high ATF (Aviation Turbine Fuel) taxes at the destination Airport, the current crisis in Sri Lanka has forced carriers to cancel several flight services to international destinations from SriLankan Airports.
However, services to Melbourne and Frankfurt are being retained due to the profitable nature of the routes through arrangements such as refueling stops.