Arranging Jet Fuel: 6 Considerations for Your Pre-trip Planning
This aviation blog post is part of a series on jet fuel issues impacting business jet operators.
When it comes to making decisions about jet fuel arrangements, considerations often include on-time delivery, best possible price, and straightforward credit options. Arranging jet fuel uplifts pre-trip and using aviation fuel cards rather than credit cards or cash gives you the best results in terms of price, service, and payment. It is always best to arrange jet fuel in advance rather than upon arrival. The following are six considerations when planning your trip:
1. What’s the first step an operator should take when arranging jet fuel?
Contact your jet fuel sales representative and go over all trip details. Be specific in terms of type of flight (charter [non-scheduled commercial] or private non-revenue[business or leisure]), whether you need anti-icing additives such as Prist, and how flexible you are in terms of alternate technical stops that may offer jet fuel cost savings. Also, obtain price estimates that include all applicable taxes and fees.
2. Are jet fuel price estimates recommended for each stop, and what information should they contain?
This often depends on operator preference. Some operators use software programs to provide jet fuel pricing information. Some estimates will include all applicable taxes while others will not. Ensure that all applicable taxes and fees for your type of flight are considered on the estimates so you may easily compare estimates from different providers. To obtain the most reliable estimates, jet-fuel providers will need to know if you’re operating a charter (non-scheduled commercial) or private non-revenue (business or leisure) flight, and if your next flight leg will be international or domestic. You may obtain incorrect estimates if any of the above information is omitted. One resource you can use to estimate pricing is to request a jet-fuel price estimate through the UVair® Fuel Program.
3. What should operators be aware of in obtaining jet fuel estimates?
Always confirm the effective date of your estimate, applicable taxes as well as the supplier who will be fueling the aircraft. Keep in mind that prices are subject to change based on that specific supplier and location. Be aware of minimum volume requirements and cancellation fees. Some locations may charge extra for after-hour jet-fuel deliveries.
4. How long is a jet fuel price estimate valid?
This depends on the destination and how frequently suppliers update their prices. In many countries, suppliers can update their pricing monthly, bi-monthly, or daily. However, in the U.S. jet fuel price estimates typically update weekly. For this reason, you may want to obtain updated jet fuel price estimates closer to the time of flight.
5. What information should be provided for a jet fuel uplift?
Every location varies on information needed for advanced jet fuel uplift arrangements. Generally it’s recommended to provide your tail number, company name, ICAO destination, ground handler, ETA/ETD (date/time), volume requirements, and next destination when arranging jet fuel in advance. Large jet fuel volumes should be advised beforehand to ensure availability. For tax exempt purposes, you should provide the next destination of your exempt status to ensure eligibility. Prior to fueling at your destination, it is suggested that you have the correct documentation to exempt any applicable taxes. These taxes may include Value Added Tax (VAT) and Mineral Oil Tax (MOT). (See our earlier article on EU VAT and MOT exemptions for jet fuel purchases.) Before signing your delivery ticket, ensure that all information is accurate.
6. Is it preferable to arrange jet fuel in advance rather than upon arrival?
It’s better to arrange jet fuel in advance, as some locations require 24, 48, or 72 hours of prior notice. This ensures that jet fuel will be available and delivered on time. Jet-fuel shortages may occur during special events, high volume seasons, strikes, and diversions due to natural disasters or relief efforts. Jet fuel shortages and restricted volume may occur with little notice. We publish a weekly summary of worldwide low/no jet fuel alerts here. Also, arranging jet fuel on arrival at some remote locations may require your jet fuel purchase to be paid in cash. When using a major credit card instead of an aviation fuel card, you may be subject to pay a higher price, plus credit card fees.
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Later, we’ll discuss tips related to jet fueling during your mission.