Among the companies making their EBACE debut this year is Titan Fuel, one of the leading business aviation fuel distributors in the U.S. since 1975. The North Carolina company is now looking to expand its operations in Europe and beyond with the acquisition of Acryl last month. , an aviation fuel reseller based in Geneva with a global digital fuel procurement platform.
Although Titan (booth Y67) fuels a network of more than 500 FBOs in the US, the situation in the rest of the world is different from what it is used to, according to Acryl founder Daniel Coetzer, who will serve as CEO of Titan Europe. . Outside of North America, fuel is typically supplied by airports, fuel companies or resellers, rather than the FBO-centric model. The agreement will allow US- and Canadian-based customers to expand the Titan Contract fuel program for overseas travel. “It was ideal for Titan to buy a local business that knows the business, [and] When the approach came from Titan, it was a perfect fit,” Coetzer said AIN. “Of course they have customers in the US that will now have networks in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.”
A longtime veteran of the European aviation fuel business, Coetzer launched his latest venture, Acryl, in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. Plans to announce the launch at that year’s EBACE were scrapped when the show, like virtually every other private event around the world, was cancelled.
Despite these headaches, his company has amassed a customer base of nearly 500 aircraft tail numbers that Acryl will bring to the Titan network. With this agreement, these aircraft will already be familiar with the Titan brand when they fly in the US. The company plans to explore available fuel tenders at several smaller airports in Europe to begin with
Given the record-high fuel prices the industry is facing, Coetzer believes the situation won’t be resolved anytime soon. “I believe fuel prices are still going to go up a little bit, I’d say another 20 to 30 percent, and then it’s going to stabilize because I think the Middle East is going to start to fill a little bit of the gap.” Coetzer expects prices to finally begin to fall early next year, leaving operators to endure several more months of pain at the pump.
While many are promoting the benefits of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), Coetzer notes that the aviation industry is walking a fine line between encouraging and supporting SAF producers and pursuing near-term sustainability goals.
“The [SAF] Delivery and distribution in Europe is very difficult,” he explained. “It’s very rare to find, and if you do find it, it’s very expensive, so I think the best option for business aviation at this point is to use carbon offsets as an alternative. It’s that expensive and not the price. [of fuel] It’s already high, so the carbon credit adds another 10 or 20 cents to the price but, at least you’re green and it goes to a carbon offset program.”
As for electrification and hydrogen energy on the horizon, while these may ultimately provide strong sustainable solutions, Coetzer says, “we’re still stuck with oil for the long haul.”