Aircraft Getting Fuelled

Have you filled up your car and found out that it has doubled the price than some time ago? Imagine trying to fill up an Airbus A380 or a Boeing 747!

As of November 2022, the price of jet fuel is $3.24 per gallon. For the metric guys out there, that is around €0.70 per litre. This more than 3 times what was in late 2020.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Jet A1 fuel was as low as $1 dollar per gallon. It was mainly driven by the low demand of fuel because of all the lockdowns worldwide.

The world’s availability of oil from crude has risen due to the sanctions towards Russia due to its incursion into Ukraine. And the ongoing conflict has limited Russian oil makers’ capacity to sell their goods. As the supply of crude oil decreases, the demand for refined fuels is increasing.

The global revival of flights has increased the demand for jet-A. However, the growing shipping and freight market are pushing on diesel. This shortage means both industries pay extra for gas. In the summer, when the driving season begins, gasoline production will put a further pressure on the market as it fights for its part of the supply of crude.

What Are The Types of Jet Fuel?

The most popular type of aviation fuel are: Jet Fuel and AVGAS. In general, commercial planes and private jets use Jet Fuel along with AVGAS to operate efficiently. But, the correct type of fuel will depend on the aircraft’s engine.

Jet Fuel

It is a refined, kerosene-based fuel that is colorless and is used in aircraft that have turbine engines, such as jet engine turboprops as well as turboprops. There are two primary kinds of jet fuel: Jet A and Jet A1.

Jet A1 has a lower freeze point (-814F) than Jet A (-688F) which makes it suitable for long-haul , international flights, specifically those flying Polar routes. Similar to Jet A, Jet A1 includes static dissipation additives which reduce static charges that might develop during the transportation in the flow of fuel.

Jet A1 is the most frequent type of jet fuel used in the United States, and is used in mainly all aircraft. Jet A1 and Jet A are more accessible than AVGAS due to the process of refining. The simple refining process ensures that Jet Fuel is significantly less expensive than AVGAS.

AVGAS (Aviation Gas)

AVGAS is mainly used to power propellers as well as small piston-engine planes. These include aircraft the ones that are operated privately by pilots and flight instruction jets.

AVGAS has small quantities of Tetraethyl Lead, an ingredient that can prevent damage to the engine from detonation or knocks.

Unfortunately, tetraethyl leads are harmful to humans when breathed in or absorbed into bloodstream. The good news is that there are efforts underway to remove this from AVGAS.

There are two primary varieties that are available in AVGAS, AVGAS 100LL and AVGAS 100. The primary distinction between them is the quantity of tetraethyl leads. AVGAS 100 has more amount of lead over AVGAS 100LL.

What is the current price of fuel? 

As the price of other fuel types fluctuates, so does the price of jet fuel fluctuate. At the time of writing this article, recorded that the price of jet fuel A1 per barrel is $136.3. 

According to the same source, it will cost you $1076.8 to purchase jet A1 per metric ton. 

The current price of jet A1 fuel is an average of $3.245 per gallon. While the price per liter of Jet A1 fuel is for the cost of $0.863. 

It is imperative to note that this price is not universal, even in the United States. Hence, you might want to treat the figures represented in this article as representing the least or the average cost of buying a jet A1 fuel in the market. 

Where can you buy jet fuel? 

Do you own a plane and desire to fuel it? Then you have no problem, as you only need to have a plane that is cleared to fly by your local aviation authorities. Buying jet fuel is one of the easiest things to do. 

You will want to buy from suppliers which you can find at the local or regional level in different sizes.

You do not require a license as a plane owner to be able to buy or fuel a jet. However, for commercial airlines, a license is required to purchase jet fuel. 

How much does it cost to fill a B747 with fuel?

The B747 is able to hold around 63,500 gallons of fuel. It will cost around $205,740 to fill it entirely at the current price.

How much does it cost to fill an A380 with fuel?

The A380 is able to hold around 82,000 gallons of fuel. Therefore, it will cost about $265,680 to fill an A380 with fuel.

How much is a gallon of jet fuel? 

A gallon of jet fuel costs an average price of $3.245. This price is not taking into account the cost of transportation from the fueling station amongst other miscellaneous costs. This current price is also not stable, due to economic, climate change, and the crisis and war currently in Russia. 

A gallon of fuel will not get you to fly. The tank capacity will also affect the number of gallons you want to fill up with. Some aircraft have bigger tanks than others and might require more money to fill the aircraft up.  

However, knowing the price of a gallon of jet fuel might help you plan your budget for your next fueling tour.  

Do note that the price of jet fuel will be higher in bigger airports than in smaller airports.

Does the price of jet fuel affect ticket prices? 

Yes, when the prices of jet fuel go up, the aviation industry tries to find a way around it so as not to run at an unprecedented loss. Therefore, economic principles apply greatly to jet fuel. When the price is high, most airlines tend to transfer the cost to the passengers. This they do by increasing ticket prices. Therefore, the price of fuel does correlate with the price of a plane ticket. 

In summary, this article provided a general introduction of how the price of jet fuel has been rising lately. Especially the aftermath of the COVID-19 effects and the current war going on between Russia and Ukraine, among other factors. Then a brief explanation was given about how much jet fuel costs. Taking into account that the prices of jet fuel are not uniform over the world, it also varies in the United States by region and how big a city the state has. Where a city has more demand for jet fuel, it increases the price of the commodity. Jet fuel varies also according to its properties and composition, and what and where they are used or required for. Fuel jet price fluctuates and a stable price of jet fuel cannot be determined. Therefore, at the time of this report, it cost an average price of $3.245 to fill a gallon.  

Furthermore, it is on record that airlines are in the business to make a profit, and no business will want to run at a loss. When the prices of jet fuel rise in the market, the best way for airlines to bear loss evenly is to share the burden on the passengers who pay in form of higher ticket prices. As events continue to unfold and the days go by, it is hoped that the prices of jet fuel will be very affordable again and cheap, so that travelers may continue enjoying tourism as used to be the case.

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James Blake

By James Blake

Does it fly? Then I am interested!

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