U.S. Airlines’ March 2022 Fuel Consumption Down 10% from Pre-Pandemic 2019; Aviation Fuel Cost per Gallon Hits 8-year High
The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today released U.S. airlines’ March Fuel Cost and Consumption numbers indicating U.S. scheduled service airlines used 1.38 billion gallons of fuel, 20.3% more fuel than in February 2022 (1.14B gallons) and 9.8% less than in pre-pandemic March 2019. The cost per gallon of fuel in March 2022 ($3.04) was up 44 cents (16.7%) from February 2022 ($2.60) and up $1.02 (50.5%) from March 2019. Total March 2022 fuel expenditure ($4.18B) was up 40.4% from February 2022 ($2.98B) and up 35.3% from pre-pandemic March 2019.
At $3.04, the cost per gallon of fuel in March was the highest since January 2014’s $3.04. Also, in March 2022, the 37.5% year-over-year increase in fuel consumption on domestic flights, reflects an increase in domestic air travel from last March. This, combined with the 62.1% year-over-year cost per gallon increase, resulted in a year-over-year domestic fuel cost increase of 122.9% ($1.64B). Domestic fuel consumption increased 19.6% from February to March in 2022, increased 37.5% year-over-year, but decreased 5.0% from March 2019.
Fuel consumed by U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
March 2019: 1.53 billion gallons
March 2021: 1.00 billion gallons
Feb 2022: 1.14 billion gallons
March 2022: 1.38 billion gallons
Fuel cost per gallon for U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
March 2019: $2.02
March 2021: $1.85
Feb 2022: $2.60
March 2022: $3.04
Total fuel cost for U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
March 2019: $3.09 billion
March 2021: $1.85 billion
Feb 2022: $2.98 billion
March 2022: $4.18 billion
Airline fuel costs may be affected by hedging, contracts that allow airlines to limit exposure to future price changes. The monthly web update with April data is scheduled for June 1, 2022.
Individual airline numbers through January 2022 are available on the BTS website. Individual airline numbers for February and March will be available with the BTS first-quarter 2022 financial release on June 13.