Commercial airlines worldwide - fuel consumption 2005-2020

The global fuel consumption by commercial airlines increased each year since 2009 and is predicted to reach an all-time high of 98 billion gallons in 2020. While the great recession created a slight decrease in consumption over 2008 and 2009, by 2011 consumption levels recovered to exceed pre-recession levels.

Commercial airlines

Commercial airlines are companies who operate aircraft for hire to provide transport of passengers and cargo. The above figure therefore excludes airline fuel used by the military, and for private flights by businesses, governments, and individuals. Globally, commercial airlines generated some 838 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2019.

Industry growth

The ongoing increase in airline fuel consumption is being driven by broader growth in the commercial airline industry. Passenger demand has been higher every year since 2009, while air freight traffic has seen increasing growth in recent years. This increase in air freight traffic is likely connected to the rapid growth of e-commerce; a sector expected to continue to expand for the foreseeable future.

Total fuel consumption of commercial airlines worldwide between 2005 and 2020

Fuel consumption in billion gallons
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Release date

December 2019



Survey time period

2005 to 2019

Supplementary notes

* 2019 figure is an estimate.
** 2020 figure is a forecast.
Figures prior to 2014 taken from previous reports.

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Statistics on "Passenger airlines"

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