In regard to fuel prices, it is a point, where the operator can save a lot of money or as well spend quite a bit. The thing is, prices vary a lot all over the world. You may even find big differences in prices between two different suppliers on the same airport. Airlines do work a lot on contract base with suppliers and deal out there prices.
As Starionblue already stated correctly, it is the most economic to carry the minimum. With every kilo you carry more, you brun more. On the other hand it may be cheaper to transport cheap fuel, if you have a "cheap source".
For corportae operators or charter companies, flying to places they don't have a deal set up, is the possibility to work with an agent. They give you fuel cards and have contacts all over the world. Companies as BP
, Multiservice, UVair, Avcard are some names in this business. Here again, the prices may vary between different suppliers. Let me give you some examples:
Prics per 1000 US Gallons in US $, valid today, 27. 09. 2005
Ft Lauderdale FLL
National Jet, payed by UVair 306.59
Jetscape, payed by Avcard 280.00
Texaco, payed by UVair 220.76
KLM, payed by UVair 242.00
Statoil payed by Avcard 190.00
Q8, payed by Avcard 207.45
Air Total, payed by Multiservice 186.00
KLM, payed by Multiservice 256.00
ENOC, payed by Avcard 207.57
, payed by Multiservice 229.00
, payed by UVair 230.33
Shell, payed by UVair 368.29
Exxon, payed by Avcard 368.00
You see, there is quite something in the price....
As an example, I can give you, that we pay at the moment in Bern BRN
an average of 380.00 per 100 US Gallons. On the other hand, in Tunis TUN
still an average of about 200.00 per 100 Gallons. If I fly the E135 on minimum fuel from TUN
I burn about 1800 Kilos for the trip, which lasts about 1:45. If I go with the maximum possible, I burn about 2000 kilos for the same trip, maybe 10% or so more. On the other hand, I will land with 5000 kilos left at a price which is nearly half price!
So you see, it is strongly dependable from the individual situation. Apart from economical aspects we should not forget all the operational and safety aspects. If the weather is great I can go with much less as if we do face the possibility of severe delays or even reroutings do to weather. If the runway is wet, it may be a good idea to land with a lower weight than on a dry one.
What the law says, is that we need to carry the following:
- the fuel we go to burn on the trip, plus 5%
- the fuel to hold 30 minutes (45' with piston aircrafts)
- the fuel to fly to the alternate
- the fuel to fly a go around and another approach at the alternate
The total of this figures is called "Minimum Block Fuel". In additon to this the crew may/needs to add all the factors mentioned above and anything else, that could affect a safe and economic operation. What finally results is called "Actual Block Fuel" and is what the Captain wants to see on board.