Booming Russian Airlines Leave Kazakh Carrier Short of Jet Fuel
Air Astana JSC, Kazakhstan’s flagship carrier, said a scarcity of jet fuel is threatening its operations in the Central Asian nation as Russian rivals suck up supplies, Bloomberg reported.
“Regular air service in Kazakhstan is in jeopardy,” Air Astana said Monday in a statement, citing lower fuel deliveries from Russia. Four suppliers — Gazprom Neft PJSC, Rosneft PJSC, Lukoil PJSC and Tatneft PJSC — have sent an average of 15,000 tons a month this year, down from 44,000 tons in 2016, it said.
Gazprom Neft has given notice that fuel exports won’t resume until next May, the Kazakh carrier said. The Russian company said it hasn’t broken any contract.
Rosneft said it’s in “full compliance with its contractual obligations,” according to a statement from the company, while Lukoil said deliveries to Kazakhstan have been carried out “within bounds agreed by the energy ministries of both countries.” Should there be available resources in the fourth quarter, Lukoil will consider jet-fuel deliveries to Kazakhstan, the company said in an email.
Scheduled repairs at Kazakhstan’s Shymkent refinery could worsen the “crisis,” Air Astana said, though Interfax reported that maintenance won’t affect jet-fuel units, citing Kazakh Deputy Energy Minister Aset Magauov.
Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Belarus also have insufficient jet-fuel supplies, according to the Air Astana statement.