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Keywords:

  • operational hedging;
  • financial hedging;
  • risk management;
  • airline industry;
  • G30;
  • G31;
  • G32;
  • L93

Abstract

We examine the effects of both financial and operational hedging on jet fuel exposure in the U.S. airline industry. Specifically, we investigate two operational hedging strategies: the extent to which airlines operate different aircraft types and the degree to which airlines operate fuel-efficient fleets. We find that both financial and operational hedging are important tools in reducing airline exposure to jet fuel price risk. However, operational hedging strategies appear to be more economically important, which suggests that hedging with derivatives is more likely to be used to “fine-tune” risk exposure, whereas operational choices have a higher order effect on risk exposure.