With fuelling delays potentially costing airlines millions of dollars in penalties, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is focusing its efforts on ensuring timely delivery - and one of the key determining factors is preventing supply disruptions.

What is fuel supply security?

You have good supply security if you’re able to get aviation fuel as and when your planes need it. It’s about using a reliable service with plenty of fuel to supply your fleet and ensure you’re always able to refuel your planes with the right grade.

Why is fuel supply security important?

Fuel supply security is vital to keeping your business operations running smoothly and your aircraft on time. Delays in fuel supply can have a knock-on effect on which aircraft can fly, getting in the way of departure times. These things can prove costly and affect your business’s reputation.

What are the common causes of plane fuelling delays?

Airlines, airports, and aviation fuel suppliers can each face problems that get in the way of refuelling. For instance, think about when your flights are planned and how this can affect refuelling.

During busy periods, airports can get backed up with the number of planes trying to refuel, which can cause queues and, in some instances, can affect the airport’s supply of fuel.

Supply disruption can also get in the way of fuel reaching airports and airlines to begin with.

What causes supply disruption at airports?

The safe supply of jet fuel to an airport is a complex problem. Issues beyond your control, such as natural disasters and geopolitical issues can affect the supply of fuel. Or even less-extreme problems, such as different suppliers operating under different quality standards, can affect the fuel on offer.

These are things Shell solves.

Shell checks aviation fuel quality throughout the supply chain as part of its own Quality System, which was developed from over 100 years of experience in the industry. Shell has also helped lead the development of industry standards with the aim of improving quality and supply security for the whole industry. But this standard has yet to be universally adopted, which poses a risk when fuels from different suppliers are mixed.

To help manage this, Shell also has a dedicated team of aviation product quality experts, backed up by the fuel industry’s only dedicated aviation fuel research capability, who can rapidly manage quality issues, should they arise. This, combined with an integrated trading and supply capability allows Shell to source different supplies of fuel in an emergency, thereby minimising any disruption of supply to you.

How to prevent fuelling delays

Plan carefully when it comes to refuelling. Think about which airports you can refuel at and who you want to refuel with. You need a reliable supplier backed by a team that can both refuel your aircraft efficiently and offer industry-leading capabilities in your corner should things go wrong. A company that promises these things can ensure you have strong supply security.

What Shell can do to help

Here’s how Shell Aviation can give you excellent aviation fuel supply security:

  • Around the world, we offer efficient fuelling services;
  • We offer high-quality fuel that’s checked at every stage of the supply chain to ensure it makes the grade for your aircraft;
  • We have dedicated, world-class technical expertise to support you should there be any need to call upon it;
  • Our service is highly reliable, thanks to the fact we have one of the most integrated global supply chains; and
  • Because of our extensive global network, our customers can buy from the global open market, which helps manage market volatility.

Our commitment to reliable fuel supply

As one of the leading jet fuel suppliers in the world, Shell Aviation is committed to delivering seamless availability and assurance of smooth business operations, coupled with efficient fuelling services at any of our locations worldwide.

Reliable production of high-quality fuels

You can be sure every drop of Shell Aviation jet fuel delivered to your aircraft has been produced to meet the performance requirements you need.

Our Shell Aviation Fuel Quality Assurance System mandates fuel quality needs to be checked at every stage of the supply chain to ensure conformity to the grade specified for the aircraft.

One of the world's most extensive fuelling networks

Shell Aviation runs one of the most integrated global supply chains in the world. Our fuelling network has allowed us to consistently meet or exceed market expectations in reliability of service.

Fuel trading expertise to address evolving demands

Operating from 10 global hubs , our global trading network supports customers with the ability to source as well as purchase fuel from the global open market.
This adds to our flexibility to manage market volatility and address any issues faced by our customers in a timely manner.

Aviation professionals committed to operational excellence

Reliability is also about the right personnel who stand ready to support our customers' business operations.

Our aviation professionals, such as Rob Midgley (below), have the knowledge and operating experience to respond swiftly and effectively to the supply situation with reliable refuelling services in line with the International Civil Aviation Association (ICAO) industry codes of practice for quality control and safety.

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