Which Airlines Have Outperformed in 2013?
Airlines enjoyed a boost on Wednesday afternoon following the weekly Petroleum Status Report released by the Energy Information Agency. The report showed that oil inventories rose by 2.6 million barrels last week, following an increase of 5.9 million barrels the week before. Refineries have slowed production because inventories are well above their upper limit for their average at this time of year at 371.7 million barrels.
Jet fuel prices, which are very closely linked to oil prices, simmered down at the end of 2012 and dropped below $3 per gallon in November. Prices remained low through most of December, but ticked up above $3 at the end of the month, and as of the first week of February jet fuel was $3.18 per gallon. While high inventory levels strike an optimistic note for the price of fuel, it’s clear that they have been on the rise recently, led by an increase in oil prices.
Fuel accounts for as much as 40 percent of costs for airlines, and following deep restructuring at most major operators, one of the top concerns moving into 2013 is how well carriers will be able to control this cost. Let’s take a look at how some airlines are doing so far this year, and what the winner is doing about fuel costs…