Will Delta’s MASTER Fuel Plan Give it an Edge?

Delta Airlines’ (NYSE:DAL) plans to start producing its own fuel are close to being realized. The airline may take possession of the Trainer, Pennsylvania, refinery from Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) as early as June 22. The two announced the $180 million deal in April. Delta had hoped to close the transaction in the first half of the year and begin fuel production in the third quarter.

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The airline is now scheduled to start a maintenance overhaul of the refinery in early July, Reuters reported. Once the turnaround, which also includes reconfiguration of parts of the refinery to maximize production of jet fuel, is complete in 40 to 50 days, the plant can resume normal activity.

Through producing its own fuel, Delta hopes to save about $300 million annually on its jet fuel bill, which reached $12 billion last year. This is the first-ever such deal by an airline to cut fuel costs by buying a refinery.

BP (NYSE:BP) is expected to supply crude to the plant, and will get a share of the gasoline, diesel, and refined fuel to sell in exchange. Phillips 66 will get the same rights.

Meanwhile, Delta is issuing warnings to customers after reports of emails that falsely claimed to be from the airline. The emails claimed that the customer had bought a ticket and that a credit card had been charged. The airline warned customers receiving such emails not to click on any link or open attachments within the message. It also urged customers getting such messages to change their SkyMiles account PIN and monitor accounts for any doubtful activity.

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