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U.S. Airlines’ April 2023 Fuel Consumption Back to Pre-pandemic Levels; Fuel Cost per Gallon up 29.3% from Pre-pandemic level, Down Substantially from the June 2022 Recent-high of $4.04

Friday, June 2, 2023

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today released U.S. airlines’ April 2023 fuel cost and consumption numbers indicating U.S. scheduled service airlines used 1.484 billion gallons of fuel, 3.9% less fuel than in March 2023 (1.545 billion gallons) and 0.1% less than in pre-pandemic April 2019. The cost per gallon of fuel in April 2023 ($2.66) was down 26 cents (8.8%) from March 2023 ($2.91) and up $0.60 (29.3%) from April 2019. Total April 2023 fuel expenditure ($3.94B) was down 12.4% from March 2023 ($4.50B) and up 29.1% from pre-pandemic April 2019. 

Year-over-year changes in fuel consumption and cost for April 2023 include 6.8% increase in domestic fuel consumption, 20.6% decrease in domestic fuel cost, and 25.6% decrease in cost per gallon.  Domestic fuel consumption decreased 6.4% from March 2023 to April 2023, while increasing 0.5% from April 2019. Increased fuel consumption reflects an increase in airline passenger travel over the same period. 

Line chart showing U.S. Airline Fuel Consumption for January 2020 through April 2023


Fuel consumed by U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
April 2019:         1.49 billion gallons
April 2022:         1.35 billion gallons
March 2023:      1.55 billion gallons
April 2023:         1.48 billion gallons


Line chart showing U.S. Airline Fuel Cost for January 2020 through April 2023


Fuel cost per gallon for U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
April 2019:         $2.06
April 2022:         $3.59
March 2023:      $2.91
April 2023:         $2.66

Total fuel cost for U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
April 2019:         $3.06 billion
April 2022:         $4.82 billion
March 2023:      $4.50 billion
April 2023:         $3.94 billion

Fuel Cost and Consumption data from March 2000 to the present can be found at Summaries by month are also available.

Airline fuel costs may be affected by hedging, contracts that allow airlines to limit exposure to future price changes. 

Individual airline numbers through December 2022 are available on the BTS website. 

Please Note:

The information provided within BTS statistical releases may not be based on 100% of reporting carriers. Generally, data are released per schedule if reports have been received from at least 90% of the carriers, along with data from all the major carriers. Regarding this release, the following carriers remain pending: Elite Airways (2HQ). Also, within text, percent change results may not be exact due to rounding.