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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Airlines’ March 2023 Fuel Cost per Gallon Down 9.6% from February 2023; Aviation Fuel Consumption Up 1.3% from Pre-Pandemic March 2019

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today released U.S. airlines’ March 2023 fuel cost and consumption numbers indicating U.S. scheduled service airlines used 1.545 billion gallons of fuel, 18.2% more fuel than in February 2023 (1.307 billion gallons) and 1.3% more than in pre-pandemic March 2019. The cost per gallon of fuel in March 2023 ($2.91) was down 32 cents (9.6%) from February 2023 ($3.23) and up $0.89 (43.9%) from March 2019. Total March 2023 fuel expenditure ($4.50B) was up 6.8% from February 2023 ($4.22B) and up 45.7% from pre-pandemic March 2019.

Year-over-year changes in fuel consumption and cost for March 2023 include 8.6% increase in domestic fuel consumption, 5.0% increase in domestic fuel cost, and 3.3% decrease in cost per gallon.  Domestic fuel consumption increased 17.4% from February 2023 to March 2023, while increasing 3.2% from March 2019. Increased fuel consumption reflects an increase in airline passenger travel over the same period. 

Line chart showing U.S. Airlines fuel consumption for January 2020 through March 2023

Fuel consumed by U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
March 2019:    1.53 billion gallons
March 2022:    1.38 billion gallons
Feb 2023:         1.31 billion gallons
March 2023:    1.55 billion gallons


Line chart showing U.S. Airlines fuel cost for January 2020 through March 2023

Fuel cost per gallon for U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
March 2019:     $2.02
March 2022:     $3.04
Feb 2023:          $3.23
March 2023:     $2.91

Total fuel cost for U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
March 2019:     $3.09 billion
March 2022:     $4.18 billion
Feb 2023:          $4.22 billion
March 2023:     $4.50 billion

Fuel Cost and Consumption data from February 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), and Caribbean Sun Airlines (WL). Also, within text, percent change results may not be exact due to rounding.