The vast majority of airline fuel used by U.S. airlines is jet fuel, which is a kerosene-based fuel derived from petroleum. Being a petroleum product, the price of jet fuel is greatly affected by the global price of crude oil. For example, the three most common benchmarks of global oil prices – the Brent, the West Texas Intermediate, and the OPEC (Reference) Basket – all exhibit similar fluctuations in the price of airline fuel in the same period.
Influence of airline fuel price
Fuel expenses typically represent around 20-30 percent of an airlines’ total expenses, so any fluctuation in price will respectively affect the financial position of airlines. This is clearly demonstrated by the decline in net profits of airlines globally in 2019, coinciding with the above-mentioned rise in oil prices.