Fuel has historically been the largest expense at most airlines.
While kerosene was getting cheaper for airlines between 2014 and 2016, cost of airplane fuel has been on the rise since 2017
and is projected to surpass 200 billion U.S. dollars again in 2019. Fuel consumption by airlines has been rising steadily throughout the price fluctuations but is moving at a much slower pace.
Airlines must adjust to those changes, and many did so by increasing air fares. Several airlines also reported falling profits. Shares of different airlines plummeted
, dragging down the Dow Jones Transportation Average with them. American Airlines, for example, suspended their long haul from Chicago to Shanghai
in October of last year because it proved not profitable amidst the price increase.
One desperate measure was not (yet) carried out: Fuel additive producer Fuel Matrix said it wanted to offer a scheme to airlines
in which it would provide a software for weighing passengers before they boarded the plane. Instead of estimating weight and the amount of fuel needed for a certain flight, operators would be sure to not purchase too much fuel by accident, driving up their overall cost by flying around the excess weight of the fuel itself. The scheme would also cut emissions, according to the company.