Oil prices would have to drop far below $70 a barrel before OEMs feel any effect on demand for commercial airliners, notwithstanding speculation that precipitous price declines could discourage airlines from committing to more efficient jets at a time when replacement demand accounts for half of all orders for new airplanes, according to Boeing analysis.
As the cost of jet-A creeps ever upwards, the price last month at several Washington, D.C.-area airport FBOs hovered near $9 per gallon. Signature Flight Support, the lone provider at Reagan National Airport, posted a pump price of $9.18 a gallon, which was still less than the $9.24 per gallon it listed in early March 2011.
Adverse oil prices and cut-throat rivalry have left airlines scrambling to limit losses with the increasingly attractive option of jet-fuel hedging. Although a complex exercise, hedging essentially involves locking in a forward fixed price, allowing an increasing number of airlines to avoid surprises from unforeseen cost fluctuations. Today, jet-fuel hedgers trade contracts in Singapore, Rotterdam, the U.S. Gulf Coast or New York, as well as crude and heating oil or gas oil in London and New York, the two most liquid swaps and options markets.
Global energy, petrochemicals and metals information provider Platts launched a jet fuel microsite yesterday aimed at the energy information needs of the aviation industry. “We’re pleased to introduce a one-stop source of global jet fuel news and price data that we believe will further enhance transparency in and broader understanding of the aviation fuel markets,” said Platts global editorial director of oil Dave Ernsberger.
Oil speculators’ uneasiness over the resurgence of the “Arab spring” is the main factor driving jet-A prices ever closer to–and in some cases beyond–$6 per gallon, according to aviation fuel consultant Mark Wagner. Jet-A prices in the continental U.S. are now averaging $5.64 per gallon, ranging from $3.94 in the Great Lakes region to $6.01 in the Eastern region, current data from AirNav shows.
The price of Brent Crude, which is refined to make jet-A and other fuels, continues to rise and stood at $124.20 per barrel late yesterday.
Fuel pricing software provider FuelerLinx has released a new mobile app of its product for the iPhone and iPad, making the company’s fuel buying service available to both pilots on the road and scheduler/dispatchers in the hangar.
For a pilot worried about whether the next bump in operating costs will be one more incentive for the boss to sell the airplane, recent volatility of oil prices and rising jet-A prices must be disturbing.
Last fall the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research declared that the recession officially ended in June 2009, at the same time defining a recession as the period until the economy reaches its low point. From the perspective of the business aviation industry in the subsequent 19 months, that low point hasn’t moved much. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent in December, which was welcome news.
Aviation fuel-management software provider FuelerLinx has unveiled a new fueling pricing aid. The San Francisco-based company, which developed software that automatically finds the latest fuel prices for its customers, is demonstrating its FBOLinx Web site (www.fbolinx.com) here at the NBAA convention (Booth No. 5748).
Due to recent upticks in fuel prices and increasing demand for its services, per-seat charter broker Greenjets raised seat prices by 10 percent, effective November 15.
In addition, the annual fixed trip prices for Greenjetcard members will increase for clients enrolling after that date
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