Yflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 1201
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:05 am

Fuel Prices At ANC

Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:49 am

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
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: Fuel Prices At ANC

Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:48 pm

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.

Tom.
 
Falcon Flyer
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Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2000 12:10 pm

RE: Fuel Prices At ANC

Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:27 pm

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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Tan Flyr
Posts: 1576
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2000 11:07 pm

RE: Fuel Prices At ANC

Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:40 pm

I would suspect any carrier using PANC on a regualr basis has a contract price, just as tehy would at any other major airport where they have ops.
 
flightmedic72
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:51 pm

RE: Fuel Prices At ANC

Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:57 pm

Jet fuel for PANC is produced from Cook Inlet oil, refined at the Tesoro refinery in Nikiski and pumped through a 5 inch 71-mile, pipeline directly to the airport.