Jet fuel is the bane of an airline's existence. It has become the single biggest expense at Delta Air Lines Inc. and other airlines, and its volatility has made airline planning difficult.
Some airline executives, including Delta CEO Richard Anderson, believe oil and jet fuel prices would be lower if there were limits on trading by so-called speculators, who bet on oil prices without actually using oil.
Anderson: "It might be a good thing for a lot of people to take their passive money out of the forward market; because we think there will still be plenty of liquidity in the futures market.
"One of the things that I still think the industry has suffered from is that the forward fuel market has become the next stock market. So you have so much passive money in the last 10 years that has flowed into the futures market, that it might not be all bad to have a lot of that money flow back out of the market..."
Supply and demand indicate that oil prices should be lower, Anderson said. So if the rules go into effect, "maybe we get to more rational markets," he said.