Global jet fuel demand slips over grounding of B737Max airplanes
Findings have shown that last week’s grounding of the bulk of Boeing’s 737Max 8 fleet could cause global jet fuel demand to fall by as much as 85,000 barrels per day (b/d).
While that loss reflects just 1.3 per cent of global demand, and will unlikely have an impact on jet fuel spot prices, the impact could grow depending on how long the planes are grounded.A total of 157 persons, among them two Nigerians, died penultimate Sunday, when a B737Max aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after takeoff from Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The tragedy comes after a Lion Air B737Max flight went down over the Java Sea in late October, killing all 189 people on board. Both accidents have been found to share similarities in their last moments.Worldwide safety concerns ensured the grounding of the specific Max 8 and 9 model in the U.S., Nigeria, India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iceland, Germany, European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Oman, and France, and a host of others.
Platts Analytics estimates that out of a global fleet of 350 Max 8s, just over 319, or 90 per cent of them have been grounded.Because these grounded planes represent only 1.3 per cent of the large narrow body planes throughout the world, the general consensus has been that the impact on jet fuel demand will be minimal.
As a result, traders have so far shrugged off the groundings, and jet fuel prices have been little changed.Boeing describes its Max 8 as a large body single aisle jet with 210 seats, and the Max 9 with a maximum of 220 seats. In the U.S., for which the most granular data is available, the Max 8 accounts for only 2.2 per cent of that country’s large narrow-body fleet.
Assuming that the grounding affects jet fuel demand, which was 1.7 million b/d as of last year, to a similar degree, U.S. demand loss would likely amount to no more than 30,000 b/d.Looking at separate U.S. and international data suggests that the Max 8 can be compared with other large narrow body planes throughout the world. The only international data sets available are for large narrow-body jets, which represent 70 per cent of the worldwide passenger fleet.
The Max 8 fleet exhibits similar characteristics to large narrow-body planes worldwide. It seats 215 passengers, compared to the Platts Analytics estimate of 254 passengers globally. The Max 8 flight length, which measures the average distance travelled, is 1,171 miles in the U.S. and 1,175 miles globally.
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