New Twist to Tankering
NEW FUELERLINX TANKERING CALCULATOR OFFERS OPERATORS FUEL COST SAVINGS A New Twist on Tankering VAN NUYS, CA-August 14, 2014--The most pressing question facing any flight department is often: How can they save money on fuel? Could tankering fuel be the answer? FuelerLinx CEO Kevin Moller thinks his company has the answer. "Because fuel represents 70 percent of a business aircraft's operating cost, FuelerLinx's new tankering calculator technology can immediately support an improved bottom line." "The concept of tankering has long been in the aviation handbook," said Moller, "But, the ability to achieve the greatest cost savings--that is, to have the ability to save money by tankering each time you plan a trip--has never existed until now." The FuelerLinx multi-leg tankering calculator helps operators avoid dealing directly with FBOs or taking on fuel at each leg. The tool quickly explores all parameters and aggregates the data to simplify flight planning for a multi-leg trip. Over the past five years, AirNav and FlightAware flight tracking services have collected research on corporate jet usage at the fleet level. They have determined that, in a fleet of 20-25 medium-sized corporate jets (20,000 MTOW), each craft usually makes up to 15 trips on a monthly basis. Each trip normally consists of four to five legs. These aircraft tend to be interchangeable at their departure and arrival points, yet generally fly their executives and manufacturing parts to the same four or five locations on consistent dedicated routes. Past planning experiences have taught business aviation departments that if they want to save on the largest single operating cost--fuel--then they needed to make deals. As a result, many flight departments negotiated directly for volume discounts with the FBOs that they frequented most. -2- Schedulers and dispatchers also found that they could map out which locations offered the best fuel price--but that was a daunting and time-consuming task. FuelerLinx's new tankering tool offers a more transparent and cost effective approach to this tedious process. NextEra Energy Operator Reaps FuelerLinx's Benefits
According to Karen Brunsman, flight coordinator, NextEra Energy, Inc., "FuelerLinx has become an invaluable part of our flight planning process. It has many great resources and tools such as the fuel planner, transaction history, software integration and applications for our cell phones and tablets. "The tankering calculations have proved invaluable to our cost-saving efforts. It allows us to take the optimal amount of fuel at each stop for the least amount of money overall.
"The fuel planner is one of our favorite tools! It has many benefits such as enabling us to quickly and easily determine the quantity of fuel to purchase--without the added time and effort of trying to balance one FBO's minimum fuel purchases and fees against another
"Since we have started using FuelerLinx, our average cost per gallon has gone down more than Six-Cents per gallon when the average retail cost of jet fuel is still on the rise. FuelerLinx has afforded us truly exceptional cost savings in the fuel arena.
"Taking into account--only the amount our cost of fuel has gone down-- we have saved over $2,000 every month since we began working with FuelerLinx. In reality, this number should be even higher given that our cost, without the FuelerLinx product, would not have stayed stagnant but would have inflated along with average price of jet fuel," Brunsman added.
Maximizing Return on Investment To further illustrate the cost savings potential, here is a real-world application. If a fleet of 20 Gulfstream G450 aircraft used FuelerLinx's tankering method, what might be the cost savings? Prior to undertaking a four-leg round trip, the Gulfstream G450, Part 91 operator utilizes the FuelerLinx subscription service to evaluate each leg and determine which locations present the best opportunity to buy and subsequently tanker fuel. -3- These legs are interchangeable for the fleet, but for this example, here is a standard flight plan executed on a monthly basis. The aircraft will fly from Fort Lauderdale (fuel cost $4.18), Teterboro (fuel cost $$5.92), Wichita (Fuel cost $4.76) and end its trip in San Diego ($7.77). - KFLL -- aircraft took on 3,740 gallons. - TEB -- operator chose to waive ramp fees and took on 350 gallons. - KAAO -- operator took on tankering fuel of 2,270 gallons. - KSAN -- operator chose to take on 434 gallons avoiding ramp fees. - KFlL -- operator had a fuel reserve of 590 gallons upon reaching home base. What was the total fuel bill and how much did the operator save by tankering? - Spent if the operator did not tanker $38,054.0 - Spent if the operator did tanker $31,804.00 Savings $6,249.00 On a monthly basis, these 20 G450 aircraft flying to four similar locations, at least three times each month, could save the operator more than $374,940. FuelerLinx's multi-leg tankering software also offers Part 135 operators a flexible planning tool. Charter aircraft pilots often face five to six legs and a stop-over in a day's flight plan. The following day, facing a short fuse to meet on-going customer demands, pilots have little time to choose the most cost effective fuel stop. Pilots can use their mobile devices to map out an expedited screening of "cost-savings" fuel stops that identifies the lowest possible contract fuel price. These fuel costs have been previously negotiated between the fuel supplier and FBO. Once the fuel costs are verified, the operator can select specific legs to upload high volumes that are offered at the lowest price. To further streamline the process, FuelerLinx software automatically orders the fuel. -4- Moller commented that, "We follow Platts every Tuesday when their benchmark price assessment evaluates the price of jet fuel. At this time all contract fuel prices are either modified or remain the same." The system then incorporates the data, ensuring users have access to the most up-to-date information. Furthermore, "Our system offers the Chief Financial Officer--who is generally in charge of the corporate flight department--the appropriate accounting tool to justify its company's ownership and operation of business aircraft." Changes In Original Flight Plan What happens when flight plans are changed in mid-stream? How does one cancel future fuel uploads and also make plans to convert new fueling requirements at different locations? NextEra Energy's Brunsman said her company's use of the FuelerLinx's system has met this challenge. "Tools like the FuelerLinx app allow our pilots to rapidly and almost effortlessly determine the best method of payment and fuel quantity to upload on unplanned stops when dispatch might not be immediately available. "This cuts down on after hours calls and added frustration to what can be an already complicated situation as with any unplanned stop. "As a whole, the FuelerLinx product has allowed us to take our flight department to the next level of cost savings, time savings, and efficiency," Brunsman added.
FuelerLinx's Moller concurs."If an operator cancels a planned leg of any trip and substitutes it with another location, the tankering software can immediately handle the revised entries. The previously planned locations are notified that the aircraft will not be taking fuel. Plus, the newly identified locations are alerted that the aircraft intends to uplift fuel or take-on courtesy fuel," he said. Can this ease of accommodation be made on flights when flying a long-range jet? And what will be the cost savings? This flight plan is an example. An operator at Centennial Airport in Denver completed his flight plan to Boston (KBOS). A course was set from Centennial ($4.01) in a Global Express (fuel capacity of 6,470 gallons) to land at Teterboro ($6.67) and then to Boston. -5- - KADA -- operator uploads 4,433 gallons (Leg 1). - KTEB -- operator takes no fuel and pays ramp fee of $628 (Leg 2). - KBOS- plane lands in Boston and is then redirected to Chicago. - KMOW - no fuel at Midway for $6.89; pays $530 ramp fee (Leg 3). - KDAL - operator at Dallas Love Field uploads 2,747 gallons at $4.18 a gallon (Leg 4). - KSFO - operator in San Francisco takes no fuel at $8.00 a gallon and pays ramp fee of $800 (Leg 5). - KADA - operator lands at home with a fuel reserve of 737 gallons. In this example, "the operator had to cancel its original flight plan and set up a series of other legs in the U.S. Our tankering software made the adjustments and immediately notified Boston of his change of plans and then made sure Midway was set to accommodate the Global," Moller said. What was the total fuel bill and how much did the operator save by tankering? - Spent if the operator did not tanker $38,601.00 - Spent if the operator did tanker $31,205.00 Savings $7,395.00 On a quarterly basis, two Global Express aircraft, owned by the same operator and flying to similar five locations, at least two times each per quarter, could save the operator more than $118,328. Analysis Offered to FuelerLinx Customers Once a destination has been chosen and the operator indicates it wants to purchase fuel at that FBO, an order is dispatched from FuelerLinx to the FBO. The FuelerLinx customer also receives a copy that reconciles the purchase order, including fuel cost, volume discount and fuel upload. To provide further notproof of customer support, the correct FuelerLinx billing system automatically tracks fuel purchases and notes which purchases have not been reconciled through a simple bar chart. Monthly, FuelerLinx sends each customer a status report that identifies total savings by tankering (by number of aircraft).
-6- Also, attached is a map of the U.S. which indicates the fuel tankering stops made during the month. Both the negotiated contract fuel price and standard retail fuel costs are shown. Lastly, on a quarterly basis, FuelerLinx provides a cost analysis of the savings generated by using the tankering method. Our FuelerLinx subscription-based program, which offers numerous user-friendly tools and costs only $349 per month from one to three aircraft. The cost increases incrementally with larger fleets. For most subscribers, the subscription cost is optimized within one month of fuel cost savings," Moller said. "One misconception, we often get, is that FuelerLinx is only for companies that have greater than six aircraft. We treat all our customers the same whether they have one aircraft or more than 100." he said. NextEra Energy Brunsman's sums up their relationship with FuelerLinx. "The cornerstone of FuelerLinx is their customer service. It is a breath of fresh air to have every phone call and email answered with a friendly voice and a helpful attitude. "Any issue we have had, whether a logistical question, technical issue, or a need for a mutual understanding, has been met with a resolution and a timely implementation.
"I can honestly say that although FuelerLinx makes my job easier and makes our department more efficient, it's their level of customer service and attention to detail that makes me want to be a FuelerLinx client," she said. -30- BACKGROUNDER Founded in 2008, FuelerLinx is an aviation management software that is flexible and adaptable to the workings of the jet fuel marketplace. The ease of access of the FuelerLinx system optimizes flight operations, automates the fuel purchasing process and reduces operating costs. The company is located in Van Nuys, CA., (415)-580-0874. Visit us at NBAA Booth #1336.