Aviation Fuel Demand Nearing Pre-Pandemic Level

The global demand for aviation fuel is on track to return to pre-pandemic levels, according to Shell. Demand in the United States has already reportedly reached 2019 levels, while Europe’s consumption has recovered to more than 80%.

Shell Aviation President Jan Toschka stated that they will be aiming to approximately 300 million tons of fuel to airlines within the next year or two. He told publication Reuters at the 38th Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) that there is still more work to do in the Asian market.

“Asia has been a bit more of a bumpy road with markets opening up and closing down, but mostly we expect Asia in particular, in the next year, to come back, but it might take another year before we see the full potential of the market,” Toschka said.

Jan Toschka is confident about the fuel market bouncing back
Shell Aviation President Jan Toschka spoke to reporters at the APPEC 2022 conference in Singapore @REUTERS/Isabel Kua

The recovery has involved adjustments in sources of fuel supply with the European Union’s sanctions on Russian oil over the war in Ukraine, leading to Europe having to import more fuel from the U.S., China, India and the Middle East.

“The market needs to buy from refineries further away … shipping and rail and all kinds of distribution are under more stress now with this new kind of routing (of trade),” Toschka affirmed.

Shell’s investment in sustainable aviation fuel ecosystem

Mr Toschka had recently announced in August that Shell Aviation would be looking to invest in Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs), partnering up with information technology firm Accenture and American Express’s Global Business Travel to create a networking initiative for the aviation industry to generate more interest in the fuels

Their new platform, Avelia, will be using the divisive ‘book and claim’ method where travellers can pay for the sustainable fuel and claim its benefits, even if the fuel does not end up being used on their specific flight. Then, the equivalent amount of fuel will be fed into another aircraft, accomplishing the same overall goal.

“(SAF) needs support. It needs support from the entire ecosystem,” Toschka said.

“That means travelers, airlines, corporations and fuel suppliers all need to be working together toward a sustainable future of aviation.”

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