Cash-strapped airlines are now being pressured to pay millions of dollars in advance for aviation fuel, reports the Times of London. Mandatory prepayment for fuel has become common in the US and is now moving to Europe as crude oil prices continue to rise and the solvency of the industry is uncertain. Jet fuel costs have soared 60% since January.
“The airlines can’t afford it," said a US jet fuel consultant. "Traditionally, oil companies extended credit for 14 to 30 days. Now, most American airlines are on prepay."