The dramatic run up in oil prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February has claimed a new record: the highest-ever average April fuel price for U.S. airlines since record keeping began 22 years ago.
U.S. carriers paid an average of $3.59 per gallon for 1.35 billion gallons of fuel — a tidy $4.85 billion — in April, new data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) show. The cost was up 18 percent from March, and 74 percent from April 2019.
Fuel prices in the U.S. have only held above $3.50 per gallon once before since 2000. They hovered between $3.57 and an all-time peak of $4.10 per gallon from June to October 2008, according to BTS.
The average price of fuel is only expected to rise further with Brent crude spiking to around $120 per barrel since the EU announced plans for a partial ban of Russian oil on Monday. On Wednesday, Delta Air Lines raised its second quarter fuel cost forecast by at least 7 percent to an average of $3.60-3.70 per gallon.