New Delhi: State-owned oil companies on Saturday hiked jet fuel price by about 3 percent, the third time they have increased rates this month.

The price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, in Delhi was hiked by Rs 1,850.96 per kilolitre (kl), or 2.8 percent, to Rs 67,800.30 per kl with effect from midnight tonight, Indian Oil Corp, making the announcement on behalf of the industry, said.

The price increase comes on the back of jump in rates effected from March 1 and March 16 because of firming international oil prices. ATF rates had been increased by 3.2 percent from March 1 and by Rs 1,298.88 per kl from March 16.

In Mumbai, jet fuel will cost Rs 68,806.82 per kl from tomorrow, against the current rate of Rs 66,989.74 per kl.

Jet fuel constitutes over 40 percent of an airline's operating cost and the hike in prices will add to the burden of the cash-strapped airlines.

No immediate comment was available from the airlines on the impact of the price increase on passenger fares.

The three fuel retailers -- IOC, HPCL and BPCL – revise jet fuel prices on the 1st and 16th of every month, based on the average international price in the preceding fortnight.