The cost of fuel is one of the main factors that determine the amount of money helicopter companies charge for tours and charters. Aviation fuel prices have been declining recently. While consumers might not see this reflected in lower helicopter transportation costs in the short term, travel costs could go down in the future if fuel costs continue to fall.
Just as the cost of gasoline can vary from one gas station to another, the price of aviation fuel is different from supplier to supplier. Helicopter companies often shop around to find the best price.
Large helicopter operators often develop relationships with suppliers to get the lowest fuel costs possible. They can hedge their fuel prices over a period of time, which makes it easier for them to decide on the prices they will charge their customers. Smaller helicopter companies sometimes allow their pilots to choose where to buy fuel. Some pilots shop around, while others simply purchase their fuel from whatever supplier happens to be at the helipad that day.
Customers who want to book helicopter tours or charters can take advantage of variations in fuel prices by comparing costs for several companies. Many helicopter companies are reviewing their prices in light of declining fuel costs to ensure that they are as competitive as possible. As some companies begin to lower their prices, others will be encouraged to follow suit to keep drawing business. If the trend toward lower aviation fuel prices continues, helicopter tour and charter customers could benefit in the future.