Distribution problems: Business jets in Europe often get too little kerosene

Business charter providers complain about a systematic shortage of kerosene at European airports, especially in Italy and Great Britain.

In aviation, there is a lot of jerking right now. And many in the industry are afraid of the summer when passenger numbers rise again. Airlines are already having to cancel flights because of a lack of cabin and cockpit staff. And there are chaotic scenes at airports because there are not enough employees at check-in or at the security checkpoint.

Bernhard Fragner is also worried. “We are preparing for three challenging months,” says the founder of the Austrian business charter airline GlobeAir. However, his skepticism has a different background. He fears fuel shortages, which not only affect his company but all suppliers. “We are already getting no more kerosene at some airports, or not the desired amount,” he says.

Not in the right amount and at the right time

Fragner is not referring to Vienna Airport, where kerosene had recently run out after an accident in a refinery. The airline entrepreneur speaks of systematic deficiencies across Europe, which occur frequently in some countries. Last week, GlobeAir’s Citation Mustangs ran out of fuel in Birmingham, Olbia, Manchester, Milan-Linate, Perugia, Rimini and Siena, among others.

It’s not because there aren’t enough of them in the UK or Italy. But it does not come to the airports in the right quantity and at the right time. “It’s now a systematic and regularly occurring problem,” says Fragner.

Ukraine will provide tens of thousands of drivers

A shortage of staff is also to blame for the lack of supply at the airports. There is a lack of truck drivers in Europe. On the one hand, this is due to Brexit, which meant that many drivers from Eastern European EU countries had to leave the island. Now they are missing there. But there is also a shortage of personnel in the driver’s cabs of trucks in the rest of Europe. Because Ukraine provided tens of thousands of drivers. These were drafted or are on the run.

The European business charter providers are therefore concerned. Because scarcity has unpleasant consequences. “We have to fly to certain airports with a full tank of fuel because we can’t get kerosene there,” says GlobeAir founder Fragner. “This is ecological nonsense.”

Certain routes soon no longer possible?

In addition, certain routes could no longer be offered if things went on like this. Fragner: “I’ve never experienced anything like this in the past 20 years.”

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