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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Airlines April 2021 Fuel Use Up 3.7% from March

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Contact: Dave Smallen
david.smallen@dot.gov

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today released U.S. airlines’ April Fuel Cost and Consumption numbers. 

Fuel consumed by U.S. airlines scheduled service:

April 2020                     447 million gallons
March 2021                  1.0 billion gallons
April 2021                     1.0 billion gallons

U.S. airlines used 3.7% more fuel in April 2021 than in March 2021 to reach the highest monthly consumption level since March 2020. In April 2021, airlines used more than twice the amount of fuel that they did in April 2020 and 70% of the amount they used in April 2019. 

Fuel cost per gallon for U.S. airlines scheduled service:
            
April 2020        $1.38 
March 2021     $1.85
April 2021        $1.75    
    

The April 2021 cost per gallon ($1.75) for aviation fuel was down 10 cents per gallon from March 2021 ($1.85) but higher than any other month since February 2020 ($1.81). The April 2021 cost per gallon was up from April 2020 ($1.38) but down from April 2019 ($2.06).


Total fuel cost for U.S. airlines scheduled service:

April 2020           $617 million 
March 2021        $1.9 billion
April 2021           $1.8 billion

Total April 2021 fuel cost ($1.8 billion) was down from March 2021 ($1.9 billion) but higher than any other month since February 2020 ($2.4 billion). 

The Fuel Cost and Consumption page can be found here: https://www.transtats.bts.gov/fuel.asp Summaries by month are also available

Preliminary fuel cost and consumption numbers are industry summaries only. Airline fuel costs may be affected by hedging, contracts that allow airlines to limit exposure to future price changes. The monthly web update with May data is scheduled for July 7.

Individual airline numbers  through December are available on the BTS website. Individual airline numbers for January, February and March will be available with the BTS first-quarter 2021 financial release on June 14. Individual airline numbers for April will be available with the BTS second-quarter 2021 financial release on Sept. 13.

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