SHELL CONTINUES TO RIDE ROUGHSHOD OVER AVIATION FUEL CUSTOMERS
Domestic charter airlines depending on a regular supply of AVGAS to run their aircraft had news from Shell, some say after being stung by acid criticism over their pricing and supply policies in Uganda, when the price for AVGAS came down from a record high of US Dollars 2.71 per litre to 2.51 US Dollars. While aviators generally welcomed the 20 US cents reduction one known for his ‘rapid reaction fire’ commented: ‘these boys from Shell are mocking us surely. They reduce their price to 2.51 US Dollars while in Dar es Salaam the price for AVGAS is 1.60 US Dollars, and even in Nairobi the price is after recent increases US Dollars 1.93 per litre. Do they want to earn another big bonus before they finally depart from their retail business in Uganda at our expense?
A regular source at the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority commented off the record that the developments in fuel prices, especially for AVGAS which largely ‘drives’ general aviation, has been of great concern to the CAA as they are the ones giving concessions for fuel supplies at airport and aerodromes, saying: ‘we hear about the discrepancies in prices between say Mwanza or Kilimanjaro and Entebbe. Of course this does not make us happy because it makes flying so much more expensive in Uganda. From what I get from the airlines Shell cannot explain why the added distance of transport between Kenya and Uganda should inflate prices so much and it looks a lot like monopolistic exploitation and price fixing.’
Sources in Kajjansi also confirmed that charges for charter flights now reflect the high fuel cost and that leisure flying has reduced, no surprise considering the cost of ‘going up’ for an hour or part thereof.
The Uganda Association of Air Operators is said to be looking into opening a new supply route from Tanzania, where BP is trading AVGAS and said to be willing to explore an onward export to Uganda to finally end the chronic shortages and sell fuel at prices reflecting market developments and not Shell’s arbitrary demands.
Watch this space.