Since our latest article about airline Electronic Fueling (eFueling), we’ve received several questions from you. That’s why we thought it’s time to do another rapid-fire question session. Therefore, we selected 14 most-relevant questions about Electronic Fueling.

Here we go with your questions on airline electronic fueling.

1 — What’s the difference between Electronic Fueling, Digital Fueling, and eFueling?

Before we dig into the details, this reflects the perfect questions to start with. Some of you noticed that we are using different terms (eFueling, digital Fueling, electronic Fueling). And obviously —we apologize— this created some confusion. 

So, let’s get that clarified: There’s no difference between the three terms. eFueling is an abbreviation of “electronic fueling” and digital Fueling probably just sounds a bit fancier. 

Nonetheless, it is worth to mention that Electronic Fueling reflects a digitization approach.

2 — What is Electronic Fueling about?

Electronic Fueling is aiming to digitize an airline’s fueling process. That means today’s manual procedures (fuel order, receipt, etc.) are performed entirely digital. Therefore, a so-called data distribution platform connects airlines on the side, and fuel provider on the other side.

Accordingly, this platform is used to exchange all fuel-related messages. Here are some examples:

  • Flight Plans
  • Fuel order
  • Process milestones (order accepted, fueling starts, etc.)
  • Fuel receipt
  • Acknowledgment
  • No Fuel Indicator
  • Etc.

Here’s a detailed explanation of eFueling.

3 — What’s required to use Electronic Fueling at an airline?

In terms of an airline, it is necessary to connect to a fueling data distribution platform. There are several approaches to do that. Airlines can connect their flight planning systems, ACARS, or EFBs. Additionally, the required fuel provider at an airport has to be connected too.

4 — Is it available at every airport?

No, not every airport, resp. fuel provider is eFueling-ready. Nonetheless, the number of airports is quite considerable and steadily growing. Here’s a list of airports that are connected to our data platform. 

5 — What do airlines benefit from Electronic Fueling?

Actually, the benefits cover a wide variety of topics:

  • Increased efficiency
  • Increased data quality
  • Reduced delays
  • Financial savings
  • etc.

We put together some real-life use cases from airlines using Electronic Fueling and the benefits they’ve achieved.

6 — Which airlines are currently using Electronic Fueling?

Unfortunately, we do not have a complete list of airlines that are using Electronic Fueling. However, here’s a list of airlines using our Electronic Fueling solution:

  • Lufthansa
  • Swiss Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Eurowings
  • Air Dolomiti
  • Lufthansa Cityline
  • Edelweiss Air
  • Cathay Pacific

7 — How does IATA’s fuel data standard relate to eFueling?

The IATA fuel data standard defines fuel message syntax. In simple words: It reflects the digital language to exchange fuel information. This XML standard, called AIDX, is available in a first version and continuously enhanced.

8 — What’s the impact of COVID-19 to eFueling?

A very interesting question. Here’s an entire blog post about the topic. Summarized: IATA is recommending to use Electronic Fueling to avoid face-to-face communication between the cockpit crew and the fuel supplier. Among other measures, this shall help to minimize potential infection sources.

9 — Which fueling process steps are covered by Electronic Fueling?

As mentioned earlier, Electronic Fueling covers the entire operational fueling process:

  • Flight schedules
  • Initial fuel orders and updates
  • All process milestones
  • Fuel uplift
  • Fuel receipts
  • Acknowledgments

10 — How are fuel orders submitted to fuel providers / into-plane agents?

As briefly described above, this is handled via a data distribution platform. For example, our solution (eFueling Hub) connects airlines and into-plane agents and takes of message distribution and routing.

11 — Our main airports are currently not connected. What can we do?

In case you’ve checked the list of connected airports and couldn’t find your hub / most important airport, it’s time for a joint project 🙂

But seriously: We are trying to connect as many as airports as possible. However, sometimes it needs the initiative and support of an airline to connect an airport. From a technical point-of-view, this isn’t a big deal. So, we’re happy to discuss in case you’d like to see another airport on the list of Electronic Fueling-ready airports.

12 — I read about the No Fuel Indicator on your blog — how does that relate to Electronic Fueling?

The No Fuel Indicator is an add-on we’ve implemented in our solution. The core idea is that the cockpit crew sends out a message to the fuel provider in case refueling is not required. By doing so, airlines can reduce fuel-related costs that occur. Here’s a blog post with all details about the No Fuel Indicator.

13 — Does eFueling support digital signatures?

Not yet. IATA is currently driving this initiative. We plan to implement that as soon as the message format gets updated.

14 — Where can I find more information about Electronic Fueling?

IATA is definitely a good source.

If you prefer a face-to-face chat, just get in touch with me on one of the channels below.

What Do You Think?

Always happy to receive your feedback and thoughts. Just hit me up on Twitter or get in touch on LinkedIn.

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Benjamin is an aviation-enthusiast, a content-maniac, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions with the aim to change the aviation industry. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry, and working with renowned airlines such as Lufthansa, Emirates, Air India, Aegean Airlines, Saudia Airlines, S7, Icelandair and many others.