Transatlantic Flights Are Set to Boost Oil Demand by a Quarter Million Barrels a Day
(Bloomberg) -- The Biden administration’s new vaccine-based travel rules are forecast to boost jet fuel consumption as they bring the U.S. more in line with the European Union, helping revive flights across the Atlantic.
The increased transatlantic travel will probably add at least 250,000 barrels a day of crude demand, according to a senior trader at a top oil-trading firm. Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Fernando Valle also expects more than a quarter million barrels of daily crude consumption coming back, thanks to less restrictions on global vaccinated travelers in the U.S. and Europe.
“We’ve picked up a lot on domestic travel and should pick up more than 250,000 barrels a day with easing restrictions on vaccinated travelers,” Valle said.
Air travel remains a weak spot in the oil market’s recovery from an unprecedented crash triggered by the pandemic last year, after flights were grounded worldwide and commuters everywhere started working from home. Air routes between the U.S. and Europe have historically been the world’s most profitable for business travel.
Under the new rules taking effect Nov. 8, travelers from countries with low supplies of vaccines who aren’t traveling on tourist visas, and those under 18, will be exempt from the vaccine requirement.
George Dix, an oil analyst at Energy Aspects, sees the boost from the new rules at 200,000 barrels a day of increased oil consumption this quarter.
“We expect the main boost to be from U.S.-Europe flights as U.S.-Latin America was already operating close to pre-virus levels, and several other countries in other regions are still some way off from opening up for international flights,” Dix said.
For airlines, the recovery is coming with a higher cost for jet fuel, denting their earnings.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.