Commercial airlines worldwide - fuel consumption 2005-2021

The global fuel consumption by commercial airlines increased each year since 2009 and reached an all-time high of 96 billion gallons in 2019. 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 2021

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period

2005 to 2019

Supplementary notes

* This figure was taken from a previous edition which was released prior to the coronavirus outbreak and can be accessed here.
** Forecast
Figures prior to 2015 were taken from previous reports.

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Statistics on "Passenger airlines worldwide"

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