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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Airlines February 2021 Fuel Use Down 10% from January

Friday, April 23, 2021

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

Fuel consumed by U.S. airlines scheduled service:

February 2020                  1.3 billion gallons

January 2021                       844 million gallons

February 2021                     757 million gallons


U.S. airlines’ February 2021 fuel consumption was 10% lower than January 2021, and 69% more than the consumption in April 2020. April was the lowest monthly fuel usage on record (447M gallons), dating back to 2000. February 2021 fuel consumption was down 43% from February 2020.



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

February 2020             $1.81

January 2021               $1.51

February 2021             $1.60


The February 2021 cost per gallon ($1.60) for aviation fuel was up 9 cents per gallon from January 2021 ($1.51) but down 21 cents per gallon from February 2020 ($1.81). The February 2021 cost of $1.60 per gallon was the highest since before the pandemic in February 2020 when the price was $1.81 per gallon.

The May 2020 cost per gallon ($1.03) was the lowest since April 2004 ($1.01).


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

February 2020             $2.4 billion

January 2021               $1.3 billion

February 2021             $1.2 billion


Total February 2021 fuel cost was 5% lower than January 2021 and almost three times total cost in May 2020 ($466 million), which was the lowest on record dating back to 2000. Total fuel cost in February 2021 was down 50% from February 2020.

The Fuel Cost and Consumption page can be found here: 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 March data is scheduled for May 5.

Individual airline numbers  through September are available on the BTS website. Individual airline numbers for October, November and December will be available with the BTS fourth-quarter 2020 financial release on May 3. Individual airline numbers for January and February will be available with the BTS first-quarter 2021 financial release on June 14.