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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’ May 2022 Fuel Consumption Down 10% from Pre-Pandemic 2019; Aviation Fuel Cost per Gallon Hits All Time High

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today released U.S. airlines’ May Fuel Cost and Consumption numbers indicating U.S. scheduled service airlines used 1.41 billion gallons of fuel, (4.4%) more fuel than in April 2022 (1.35B gallons) and (10.8%) less than in pre-pandemic May 2019. The cost per gallon of fuel in May 2022 ($3.90) was up 32 cents (8.9%) from April 2022 ($3.58) and up $1.79 (84.8%) from May 2019. Total May 2022 fuel expenditure ($5.51B) was up (14.3%) from April 2022 ($4.82B) and up (64.5%) from pre-pandemic May 2019.


At $3.90, the cost per gallon of fuel in May was the highest since April 2022 $3.58. Also, in May 2022, the 17.4% year-over-year increase in fuel consumption on domestic flights, reflects an increase in domestic air travel from last May. This, combined with a year-over-year domestic fuel cost increase of 130.1% ($2.12B) resulted in the 96.0% year-over-year cost per gallon increase. Domestic fuel consumption increased 3.1% from April to May in 2022, increased 17.4% year-over-year, but decreased 8.1% from May 2019.


Fuel consumed by U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
May 2019:    1.58 billion gallons
May 2021:    1.14 billion gallons
Apr 2022:    1.35 billion gallons
May 2022:    1.41 billion gallons


Fuel cost per gallon for U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
May 2019:    $2.11
May 2021:    $1.98
Apr 2022:    $3.58
May 2022:    $3.90


Total fuel cost for U.S. airlines (total) scheduled service:
May 2019:    $3.35 billion
May 2021:    $2.25 billion
Apr 2022:    $4.82 billion
May 2022:    $5.51 billion


Fuel Cost and Consumption data from February 2000 to the present can be found at https://www.transtats.bts.gov/fuel.asp. 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 March 2022 are available on the BTS website. 

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