U.S. airline fuel cost 2004-2019

In 2019, the cost of airline fuel for U.S. carriers across both international and domestic routes increased to two U.S. dollars per gallon. The cost of airline fuel has been volatile over the last fifteen years. From a high of 3.17 U.S. dollars per gallon in 2012, just four years later the cost had fallen by more than half to 1.45 U.S. dollars and reaching two U.S dollars per gallon in 2019.

Airline fuel

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 between 2004 and 2019.

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.

U.S. airline fuel cost from 2004 to 2019

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Release date



United States

Survey time period

2004 to 2019

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Statistics on "Fossil fuel consumption in the United States"

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