Operators of turbine-powered aircraft are still feeling the pinch of high jet fuel prices, an effect of the continuing Russia-Ukraine war and its disruption to global fuel supplies due to sanctions on Russia.
According to today’s Airnav fuel price report, the national average price for jet-A is $6.32 a gallon, up 21 cents from two weeks ago. New England is seeing the highest prices in the U.S.—an average of $7.95 a gallon, up 81 cents per gallon from mid-April, followed by the Eastern region at $7.40 per gallon, as supply imbalances stemming from the reduced flow of European fuel imports into the area continue to work through the system. With the exception of Alaska, all other areas of the U.S. saw price hikes over the past two weeks.
The current highest reported FBO price in the country, $12.88 a gallon, was at New York La Guardia Airport, but bargains as low as $3.45 a gallon in the Eastern region can still be found, depending on what refueling stops an operator chooses to make.
“The region is getting back in balance with supply stocks,” said Joel Hirst, Avfuel’s v-p of sales. He noted that overall prices are still high in the Eastern region but are coming back in line with the rest of the U.S. “I expect continued volatility in all jet markets for the next several months,” Hirst added.
Denton Cinquegrana, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) noted another factor for the reduced availability of jet-A is the increasing recovery of commercial aviation after its two year-long Covid-induced slump. During that period of slack demand for jet fuel, some refiners had configured their production more heavily towards diesel and the pendulum is now slowly moving back.
In addition, Cinquegrana cited certain petroleum facilities that have been taken offline due to construction work or are shuttered while being converted into sustainable fuel refineries. ”I think foreign contributions are not going to be there, and so that means the U.S., and the East Coast in particular, are going to have to be self-reliant when it comes to a lot of different fuels this summer, whether its jet fuel, or diesel, or gasoline,” he told AIN.
Cinquegrana also noted that refineries in the area and/or any increased capacity in major fuel transport arteries such as the Colonial pipeline will have to pick up the slack.