Mark Pilling / Paris
Malaysia Airlines chief executive Idris Jala floated the idea of IATA becoming involved in joint fuel buying to help carriers achieve better economies of scale today at the association’s annual meeting in Paris.
“I suggest IATA comes together to create a fuel buying house,” said, Jala, who is a former executive with oil giant Shell, with the initiative making sense because it would enable carriers to bulk buy fuel and obtain volume discounts.
Lufthansa chief executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber said such an idea was “worth looking at”, but added that a joint think tank between airlines and the oil industry discussing wider issues of fuel supply and logistics could also “create more value”.
On the joint fuel buying suggestion, IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani said that there are legal constraints on the association performing such a task. “For us it is not possible,” he said.
However, Bisignani pointed out that the global airline alliances are working on joint fuel buying initiatives and that this was the better way forward. The Arab Air Carriers Organisation has also been active on joint fuel buying activity on behalf of its members.