The Power and Energy Sector Soars (Literally)

on October 18, 2013 at 3:00 PM

George Osborne Visits Scotland

Energy and utility company use of aircraft has soared in recent months, jumping 35 percent in the first half of the year, Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI), says.

While that includes corporate jets, it also means pilots ferrying workers to oil rigs and other remote locations as companies continue to look farther afield for resources to develop and to new and large projects to satisfy growing demand from emerging economies for energy.

“When businesses are flying, it’s usually an indication that their business is thriving. Flight hours are a powerful economic indicator from both a regional and business sector perspective,” Neil Book, President and CEO of JSSI said in announcing the latest results of its customer activity review.

The fact that seasonal requirements impact moving energy company employees by air is a factor in evaluating aircraft usage, JSSI vice president of strategic planning and business development Kevin Thomas told Breaking Energy in a recent interview. The company, which is an hourly cost maintenance provider for business aircraft, makes its quarterly data available to business analysts and – in limited form – to the public as part of both a transparency effort and to allow for analysis of the sector based on flight time and use of aircraft, Thomas said.

JSSI merged the power and energy sectors into a single vertical for its data release so that it could include enough data points to get a meaningful read on the sector’s aircraft usage and growth. Oil field services businesses flying employees, for example, could be included if they were facilitating the core functions of an energy company.

While average hour employed per aircraft will eventually show signs of flattening as each can only operate so much, total hours flown is expected to continue rising as the energy and power sectors continue to invest, Thomas noted. The sector has already shown five sectors of continuous growth, and with trillions of dollars in future investment forecast, there is a direct correlation with an expansion of aircraft use in many parts of the world, he said.