Yflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1350 posts, RR: 1 Posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2852 times:
About a month ago I took a vacation in Alaska. On the last day another guy from my tour group and I both had late flights out of ANC, so we were hanging out in the airport restaurant, watching planes and killing time before out flights. I was telling him about how ANC was a major refueling stop for cargo flights to Asia, and he asked an interesting question that I couldn't answer. He noted that pretty much everything is more expensive in Alaska than in the Lower 48 due to it's isolation, including gasoline. So wouldn't jet fuel be a lot more expensive at ANC, too?
Obviously refueling at ANC must be the best option, because so many airlines do it. My fellow traveler was suggesting that refueling somewhere like YVR or SEA might be cheaper. Is jet A in fact more expensive at ANC, but not enough so to make it worth flying farther for cheaper fuel? Or is even YVR-Asia too far for a fully loaded 742 or MD-11 freighter, and ANC is the only option? Or is jet fuel sort of the exception to the rule and not really all that much more costly at ANC?
tdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12710 posts, RR: 78
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2597 times:
Quoting Yflyer (Thread starter): He noted that pretty much everything is more expensive in Alaska than in the Lower 48 due to it's isolation, including gasoline. So wouldn't jet fuel be a lot more expensive at ANC, too?
Jet-A is currently retailing for $5.55/gallon at KSEA and $5.40-$5.59 at PANC (depending on FBO), so there doesn't appear to be any meaningful difference.
Keep in mind that a *huge* amount of oil flows through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and terminates at Valdez, only about 300 miles (by road) from Anchorage. There are several refineries in Alaska, including at Valdez. This presentation from the State of Alaska strongly suggests that the majority of their jet fuel production is in-state: http://www.dot.state.ak.us/anc/about...t/JParrott-JetFuelAvailability.pdf
Quoting Yflyer (Thread starter): My fellow traveler was suggesting that refueling somewhere like YVR or SEA might be cheaper.
In addition to having no obvious difference in Jet-A price, those two airports are much busier than PANC; you're likely to have more operational hassles and spend more money on landing fees.
Quoting Yflyer (Thread starter): Or is even YVR-Asia too far for a fully loaded 742 or MD-11 freighter, and ANC is the only option?
CYVR-Asia is about 1000 nm or 2.5 hours farther than PANC-Asia...even if fuel were more expensive (and it doesn't seem to be) it would still significantly alter the flight economics to refuel somewhere so much farther away.
Falcon Flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1354 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2542 times:
Can't talk about the airline side but on the corporate side, a quick check of contract prices shows Jet-A in the $4.50 to $4.75 range. That beats prices in Nashville, for example, by a couple of dollars per gallon. Go figure. We always use PANC for our trips to Asia and that's been the story for at least the last several years.
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