Atlantic FuelEx has been appointed as a member of the steering committee of the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO). The Dubai-based company is the first fuel reseller to be appointed to the group, which is focused on improving the reliability and quality of fuel supplies to carriers in the region.
For instance, the committee is implementing new solutions for AACO operators to use for fuel supply management. It is also preparing a new standards manual giving guidelines on the aircraft fuel supply process.
According to Atlantic FuelEx president and CEO Rani Awad, the steering committee is updating its established process for evaluating fuel suppliers and guiding operators as to which companies meet acceptable standards. It also organizes an annual conference and last August hosted a technical summit on aviation fuel in Dubai.
Awad told AIN that the committee is dealing with three main issues. The first concerns inconsistent pricing levels for fuel in difference countries. For instance, in some African countries jet A is currently charged at rates as high as $5 per gallon and prices can fluctuate in some cases by more than $1 per gallon. AACO wants to see more stable pricing in the countries where its members operate. “These rates can cause huge losses for airlines so we are discussing it with government,” said Awad.
The AACO steering committee, in coordination with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), is campaigning to reduce levels of taxation on aircraft fuel. At the same time, it is pressing for a system to post changes in fuel taxation rates online in real time. It wants to get this system in place by mid-2014. Atlantic FuelEx is also involved in AACO’s purchasing and technical committees.
Meanwhile, Atlantic FuelEx (Stand 3260) is expanding its aviation fuel resale activities in Africa and at the same time is working to improve service standards in the continent. “We have started helping the African suppliers and carriers to get in touch with IATA standards, and many of them currently are not sufficiently insured,” said Awad.
After encountering problems with fuel supply to airlines in Nigeria, Atlantic FuelEx set up a new joint venture with a local Nigerian supplier to support its client Egypt Air. The new arrangement ensures that the fuel supply service is covered by $1 billion of insurance and that it is fully compliant with IATA standards.
Atlantic FuelEx, which has been in business for just over a year and a half, also is active in Kenya, Libya , Mali and Djibouti. There it has been taking steps to secure fuel supplies that are not subject to what it views as unjustifiable fees. According to the company, each increase of one cent in the price of jet fuel increases costs for operators worldwide by $700 million per year and specifically in the Middle East by $49 million.
“It is quite new in the African region for someone to take responsibility for fuel supplies to IATA standards,” said Awad. As one of the founding members of the African Airlines Association, Atlantic FuelEx aims to support both fuel suppliers and operators rather than simply taking jet fuel from one side to sell to the other.