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Charter Volume (Mar 17, 2022)

Fuel Prices Climb - US hours remain strong

Today we look at the first two weeks worth of data for March. There is and has been a lot of dialog around Ukraine and in particular its impact / potential impact on Europe, and on the used aircraft market. The focus our update here is the US market where the biggest impact so far has been with the price of fuel.

The chart below show the trend in fuel prices in light of the concern about its cost.

What you will see here is that the wholesale price of fuel is up about $0.80 per gallon over the past couple of weeks. Oil prices are fluctuating but they have dipped back below $100/barrel, which may mean that we have seen the peak in terms of price. Only time with tell. Note that the market price does not factor in existing inventory, purchased at lower prices. For locations with lower throughput, today's price may still be based on fuel purchased and delivered a few weeks ago. For the busiest locations, we should expect the shortest lag between market indexes and the price at the truck.

Anecdotally, the average posted retail price is up more like 50 cents per gallon as a national average.

Translating those numbers into hourly costs, an aircraft that burns 200 gallons per hour would be paying $100/hour more with a 50 cent per hour increase and $160/hour more at 80 cents per gallon. I have heard reports of fuel surcharges that have been in this range and much higher. I'm curious to hear what you have seen in terms of price increases at FBO's and how you're handling fuel surcharges in this environment.

So far the war in Ukraine has not had a material impact on charter flight volumes. For the first two weeks of the month, volume is up 17.8% vs 2021 for the cohort of aircraft that we track. This is compared with 18.8% for the full month of February.

For Part 91 activity we're similarly seeing consistently strong volume with a pattern that has not changed over the past month.

On the airport front, Teterboro continues to stand out when compared with last year. Volume is up 77.8% month to date compared with 2021. Conversely, West Hampton is down versus 2021, which makes sense with New York City really opening up now.

On a personal note, I flew into Teterboro for the 2nd time so far this year, and I have this photo of the Bonanza to show for it. I can confirm that while offices are still not back to full occupancy, there are a lot of people out and about in the city.

Best regards,