horrible truth about airline fuel costs was made clear once again
the other day when the Transportation Departments Bureau of
Transportation Statistics posted the year-end tally for the U.S.
The numbers are
staggering: More than 19 billion gallons of fuel for the major
national and large regional airlines, at a total cost of nearly $38
Contrast that with
the industrys peak year, 2000, when the carriers used even more
fuel, a tad over 20 billion gallons, but paid less than half of
what they paid last year.
As shown in the
accompanying charts, things started to get ugly in 2004 when the
average price per gallon of fuel jumped to $1.15.
It got worse in 2005
when the per-gallon price averaged out to $1.66, a 44.3% increase
that added nearly $10 billion in costs, boosting the total tab to
Smarting from the
effects on their bottom lines, the airlines last year used about
0.13% less fuel than in 2005.
Still, they ended up
paying nearly $6 billion more because prices kept rising, averaging
$1.96 for the year.