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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Airlines’ August 2021 Fuel Use Down 2% from July; Still 20% Lower than in Pre-Pandemic August 2019

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today released U.S. airlines’ August Fuel Cost and Consumption numbers. U.S. airlines used 1.32 billion gallons of fuel in August, 1.9% less fuel than in July 2021 and 20.1% less than in pre-pandemic August 2019. The cost per gallon of fuel ($1.97) was down slightly from July ($1.99).


Fuel consumed by U.S. airlines scheduled service:

August 2019:     1.65 billion gallons
August 2020:     802 million gallons
July 2021:          1.35 billion gallons
August 2021:     1.32 billion gallons

Fuel cost per gallon for U.S. airlines scheduled service:

August 2019:   $1.94
August 2020:   $1.21
July 2021:        $1.99
August 2021:   $1.97

The August 2021 cost per gallon ($1.97) for aviation fuel was down from July 2021 ($1.99). August’s cost per gallon was up from both August 2020 ($1.21) and August 2019 ($1.94).

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

August 2019: $3.21 billion
August 2020: $969 million
July 2021:      $2.68 billion
August 2021: $2.61 billion

Total August 2021 fuel cost ($2.61B)was down 2.7% from July 2021 ($2.68B) and down 18.8% from pre-pandemic August 2019 ($3.21B).

The Fuel Cost and Consumption page can be found at 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 September data is scheduled for November 3.

Individual airline numbers through June are available on the BTS website. Individual airline numbers for July, August, and September will be available with the BTS third-quarter 2021 financial release on December 6.