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Airline Fueling Their Own Planes Good Idea Or Not?  
User currently offlinedlramp4life From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 913 posts, RR: 1
Posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4419 times:

Is it true that AA still fuels their own planes? Because it seems like everywhere I have been Swissport, Servisair, and/or the FBO are handling fuel for the entire airport. Is it more cost effective to the airline to have an outside company do it or have a staff on the payroll to do it.

I can see why a outside company is effective because the airline does not have to pay the fueler a salary or give them benefits. But the airline still has to pay a service charge to the contract company that handles fuel to pay for their services, correct? I am just trying to wrap my mind around this.


PHX Ramp, hottest place on earth
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4322 times:

Like any other decision to outsource or not, it depends!

Sure, the airline doesn't pay the fueler a salary or benefits directly if the service is outsourced, but they sure as heck are paying those things indirectly. Now, if an airline only has a tiny fraction of the traffic at an airport, I can see why they would buy the service. If you're in DFW and AA owns 102.8% of the traffic, perhaps owning the fueling operation is a good idea.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4156 times:

If the airline feels that it can fuel its own aircraft more efficiently and more inexpensively than outsourcing to another entity, why not?

Some will even suggest that even if it's a little more expensive, it is better to retain control of the operation within the organization.

An airline with a large presence at an airport may even act as the contractor for other airlines.

Quite simple, it's largely an economies of scale and scope issue.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away. Never leave your cave without your club.
User currently offlinerunner13 From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4099 times:

If I remember correctly I think AA outsources their fueling at DFW. At BNA I know for a fact they still fuel their own planes also Eagle. Not sure of anywhere else.

User currently offlineshamrock137 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4066 times:

For some airlines having their own fueling operation is easier. Cape Air has their own fuel trucks at many of their stations because 100LL is hard to get at major airports, and they sometimes have planes that are turned in under 15 min. This would be impossible as usually the only other source of fuel would be an FBO, which are rarely located near passenger terminals.


Time to spare? Go by air!
User currently offlinedlramp4life From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 913 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3761 times:

I believe Great Lakes does their own fueling in DEN. Is that because they use AVGAS in their fleet???


PHX Ramp, hottest place on earth
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21092 posts, RR: 56
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3725 times:

Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 5):
I believe Great Lakes does their own fueling in DEN. Is that because they use AVGAS in their fleet???

What planes do they have that use avgas? Not the 1900s, not the EMB-120s.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinefuelfool From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3624 times:

Quoting dlramp4life (Thread starter):
Is it true that AA still fuels their own planes?

ASIG fuels AA at IND. None of the fuelers at IND are company employees, including FX. A couple of the airlines spray their own planes in the winter, but most are contracted out.



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning...Smells like victory!
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3619 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 1):
If you're in DFW and AA owns 102.8% of the traffic, perhaps owning the fueling operation is a good idea.

How did you get > 100% here........

Airlines out here do opt for hedging but never running fuelling company......Hedging works out cheaper in case over time crude prices rise.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3598 times:

There is a lot to running your own fueling program. It's not just hooking up the truck and moving fuel. Cost wise and liability wise much smarter and cheaper to outsource.


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3555 times:

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 9):
There is a lot to running your own fueling program. It's not just hooking up the truck and moving fuel. Cost wise and liability wise much smarter and cheaper to outsource.

That's an over-generalization. The fact that some airlines continue to operate their own fueling operations indicate that there are some efficiencies to doing so.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away. Never leave your cave without your club.
User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8494 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3516 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 8):
How did you get > 100% here........

He's exaggerating to make a point. I mean, c'mon, we all know American only actually has 99.7% of the airline ops at DFW.


User currently offlinedlramp4life From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 913 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3487 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 6):
What planes do they have that use avgas? Not the 1900s, not the EMB-120s.

-Mir

My bad, thought they their fleet used AVGAS. I have never really been around commerical prop planes or know much about them



PHX Ramp, hottest place on earth
User currently offlinefuelfool From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3423 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
That's an over-generalization. The fact that some airlines continue to operate their own fueling operations indicate that there are some efficiencies to doing so.

Even if the airline fuels does their own in-to-plane, part of the operation is probably outsourced through a consortium of the airlines at the airport. If it is at an airport that has a hydrant system, part of it has to be, because of the infrastructure needed. I would guess a place like DFW is hydrant, if it is not, I would hate to see the madness. I have worked both sides of it, and both have pros and cons. The chance that a airline owns the tanks, pumps, piping, filtration system, loading bays, trucks and has the manning to fuel and maintain, is not likely.



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning...Smells like victory!
User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3417 times:

Quoting fuelfool (Reply 13):
The chance that a airline owns the tanks, pumps, piping, filtration system, loading bays, trucks and has the manning to fuel and maintain, is not likely.

Try 5X at SDF. I'm pretty sure they own everything on the property except the intake pipe.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away. Never leave your cave without your club.
User currently offlinefuelfool From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3380 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 14):
Try 5X at SDF. I'm pretty sure they own everything on the property except the intake pipe.

So the passenger airlines are fueled by UPS workers? FX contracts out storage at MEM, from what I have been told. There is a huge difference between isolating a freight hub and separating gates on a concourse/terminal. As far as air freight is concerned, there was a time when Airborne Express owned their own airport.

[Edited 2011-07-04 03:28:19]


I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning...Smells like victory!
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3368 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):

That's an over-generalization

As the Fueling Supervisor where I work there is a lot that goes on that people don't know about. Daily checks, Monthly check, Quarterly checks, Semi Annual checks and Yearly checks. Up keep of the system and trucks. Training of the staff, Envriomental concerns. Liability...It's MUCH easier to pick up the phone and tell your fuel vendor that the in bound at gate A10 needs 10K pounds and leave the hassels to them.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21092 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3362 times:

Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 12):
I have never really been around commerical prop planes or know much about them

Basically, if it's a turboprop, it's going to burn jet fuel (since that's what a turboprop is - a jet engine that turns a propeller instead of shooting air out the back). Piston engines burn avgas (except for those that are modified to run on jet fuel, but there aren't many of those out there).

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3330 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 17):
Basically, if it's a turboprop, it's going to burn jet fuel (since that's what a turboprop is - a jet engine that turns a propeller instead of shooting air out the back).

In theory, any jet will run happily on avgas. There's just no reason to do so. Other than having to potentially tweak the start parameters a little bit, the engine wouldn't care much in the short term. In the long term it avgas might cause issues for some of the components that use fuel as a working fluid (actuators and such) but that's sort of a peripheral issue.

The converse is not true...an engine built for avgas won't work on jet fuel without serious modification.

Tom.


User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 3214 times:

Quoting fuelfool (Reply 15):
So the passenger airlines are fueled by UPS workers? FX contracts out storage at MEM, from what I have been told.

Never said that. 5X handles all the fuel for itself.

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 16):
It's MUCH easier to pick up the phone

But, if the infra-structure is there and you've got a large enough operation to justify it, it becomes a cost and reliability issue.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away. Never leave your cave without your club.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3184 times:

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 11):
He's exaggerating to make a point. I mean, c'mon, we all know American only actually has 99.7% of the airline ops at DFW.

I guess it dropped to 99.5% yesterday  
Quoting EMBQA (Reply 16):

As the Fueling Supervisor where I work there is a lot that goes on that people don't know about. Daily checks, Monthly check, Quarterly checks, Semi Annual checks and Yearly checks. Up keep of the system and trucks. Training of the staff, Envriomental concerns. Liability...

true....Running a refuelling company in Aviation necessatites certain norms & regulations to be satisfied including checks on the equipment in use.This is monitored by the regulatory authority.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinefuelfool From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3094 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 19):
Never said that. 5X handles all the fuel for itself.

Comparing a freight hub to a passenger terminal is apples to oranges. At MEM and SDF, the passenger ITP is more than likely not done by the airline itself. The maintenance and operation is definitely not done by the passenger airlines. Who does ITP for DL in ATL?



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning...Smells like victory!
User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3086 times:

Quoting fuelfool (Reply 21):
Comparing a freight hub to a passenger terminal is apples to oranges.

Why? An airline is an airline. There's no difference between 5X at SDF and AA at DFW (assuming they do there own fuel).

I'm not implying that 5X does anyone's fuel but there own. I don't know what DL does at ATL nor what AA does at DFW.

When the economies of scale is there and the airline is willing to take on the responsibility, why wouldn't they take on their own fueling. I know what's involved. I've done QC on the fuel farm and am well aware of the audit and record keeping requirements involved.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away. Never leave your cave without your club.
User currently offlinefuelfool From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3021 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 22):
Why? An airline is an airline. There's no difference between 5X at SDF and AA at DFW (assuming they do there own fuel).

There is a difference. Unless AA has separate tanks and piping, the same lines from the tanks are feeding the whole terminal. Therefore, you have fuel going to Gate A that is an AA flight and then Gate B that is a Delta flight. When that fuel leaves the tank, you don't know which gate it is going to, unless there are separate hydrant systems for the different gates/concourses. 5X does not share their gates with FX, GB or whoever, unless it is a feeder flight. 5X is on a dedicated ramp, AA is not.



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning...Smells like victory!
User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5098 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2949 times:

Quoting fuelfool (Reply 23):
There is a difference

Assuming a hydrant sysstem is in use at DFW, then yes, there is a difference, but a small one. But, at DFW, whose employees pump the fuel for AA?

I know when I worked the 5X ramp at DFW, it was a fuel contractor (don't recall who), but at SDF, it is a 5X employee, pumping from a 5X owned truck, that was filled from a 5X tank.

Who owns the fuel network at DFW? I assume it's DFW.

Let me add my own definition or parameter (for clarification) of "fueling their own planes":
-If an operator's employee fuels the aircraft using the operator's delivery device, then I consider that operator to be fueling their own aircraft. I believe that 5X, at SDF, goes beyond that definition since they own many of the fixed assets (tanks, delivery bays, fixtures, etc) in the fueling operation.

So, using that definition, does AA fuel their own aircraft at DFW? DL at ATL or CVG?

[Edited 2011-07-06 13:20:09]

[Edited 2011-07-06 13:20:36]

[Edited 2011-07-06 13:21:25]


When seconds count...the police are minutes away. Never leave your cave without your club.
User currently offlineHermansCVR580 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 504 posts, RR: 1
Reply 25, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2846 times:

Allied Aviation fuels AA at DFW. AA fuels their own aircraft meaning they have their own equipment and the planes are fueled by their employees at Tulsa, and O'hare, and they may still do their own fueling at San Diego and LAX but those two cities I'm not sure of they may have been taken over by a contractor like ASIG at LAX. At LAX the fuel pipe lines and tanks are run by ASIG but owned by the airlines under a consortium called LAX Fuels.


The right decision at the wrong time, is still a wrong decision. "Hal Carr"
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