Jet A More Expensive Than Avgas


For the first time in recent memory, the price of Jet A was higher than that of 100LL in April in some areas, in a huge spike in prices that has been building over the last couple of months. “This is our first time seeing anything like this,” said Jeffrey Carrithers, the CEO of GlobalAir, a fuel price tracking service. Jet A is now within a whisker of $8 a gallon in New England ($7.96) although the price varies widely throughout the U.S. It’s as low as $6.10 in the central region, which is still a lot higher than the low of $4.49 in May of 2020.

“Just as we have seen demand for aircraft unlike anything in recent decades, and how that has impacted private jet prices, we are now seeing that in the aviation fuel market,” Carrithers said. Only in the Western Pacific region is Jet A cheaper ($7.09) than avgas ($7.15) but in most markets the two are within 50 cents in price. For those feeling green, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is actually a little cheaper ($6.57) than Jet A ($6.74) in the Southeast while it’s as much as $2.30 a gallon more expensive out West. GlobalAir collects fuel prices from 3,247 FBOs in the U.S.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. If it were only fuel. Milton Friedman told us this would happen. It’s not rocket science.

    • A lot of us retirees are revisiting that calculation we made that the years would run out before the money does.

      • I’m in that boat having retired early. It was bad enough before Covid, but you’d think people would finally see what they should already have known from history. Trying to run an economy from the Capital inevitably makes things worse. Our country is too big and diverse to be run like the ignorant people here seem to think they do things in Scandinavia (which for decades now has had less government in most of their economy than we have here).

  2. Even more drastic are diesel fuel prices. Usually diesel is less than 10% more than regular gasoline but for the last couple of months it’s been closer to 45% higher. Since diesel road fuel and jet fuel are similar jet owners might be glad they aren’t truckers or motorhome owners.

  3. Russ, do you have a theory why Jet fuel has become more expensive than 100LL? Jet fuel is cheaper to produce, it has lower transportation and delivery costs than 100LL or Gasoline, it’s used in higher quantity and it is produced from the same feed stock.

    I get that all fuel is going up, but why the inversion of the price differential, what’s up?

    • I read that people on the east coast of the US were importing jet fuel from Europe, which now needs it because refineries may not get enough oil.

      Pipelines into the east coast of the US I do not know much of, the one that got caught by ransomware was said to carry a large proportion of fuels to there from the southwest (OK and TX probably).

      • A US official just said that the XL expansion of Keystone pipeline is not worth relitigating despite the Russian oil situation.

        But only 8% of the new line was built before the pipeline company gave up.

        KXL would greatly increase flow of heavy oil from Canada and increase flow from Bakken formation in MT/ND, to EE US and Gulf Coast.

      • The biggest problem of shutting down Keystone, which IIRC is much more than 8% complete and goes through my buddy’s neighborhood near Lake Jackson, was the precedent.
        If we were going to try to get green, we would pump our natural gas from the sunny and windy parts of the country up to the Northeast.
        Pipelines are are just smarter than rail or trucks. We’d also build nuclear plants, but that might cause global warming itself by causing all the Karen’s to overheat.

  4. Not specific to Jet A but fuel prices are partially artificially elevated to try to force people out of their cars and into EVs.

    I think Brandon even went so far as to say if you can’t afford gas buy an EV.

    Akin to Marie Antoinette ‘Let them eat cake’.

    Teslas go for about $60,000- $140,000. Even good EV’s start in the $50,000 bracket.

    • The Marie Antoinette story is commonly misunderstood, and it’s possibly apocryphal. At any rate, during that time, there was price controls on bread and other items which caused shortages. The royals believed they had solved the bread problem by forcing bakeries which ran out of unprofitable bread to sell cake or other substitutes at the controlled bread price.
      Like so many other stories about greedy, out of touch, hateful, rich people, it’s really a story of centralized power leading to unintended consequences.

      Which is EXACTLY what’s gone one here with the administration destroying our domestic oil production with senseless policies. Millions around the world are going to starve with some harsh consequences domestically as well. And, the inconvenience of high fuel prices.

      • Eric: The cake that was referred to was the not what we think as cake but was batter that spilled out of the pans and was caked onto the oven wall and floor.

        Also, just what senseless policies are you referring to? During the Covid problems, people drove less so the price of fuel went down and drilling became less profitable. Now we have the double problem of more demand and much of the Russian oil being taken off the market. Of course, we could have just caved in to Russia and let them take over Ukraine but Nevil Chamberlain tried that with Germany in 1938 and we should never forget how that turned out.

        • My sources disagree on that version, Samuel. It was mentioned and shot down. It’s been a decade since I looked into the arguments.

          The policies of locking up more federal lands, shutting down pipeline projects after approval, spreading fear of fracking, and in general being an ass towards oil companies. One story I read claimed the administration was trying to blame oil companies for inactivity on leases where it wasn’t profitable to drill.

          Since they love to trample all over states rights anyways, why not open up drilling off shore of Florida and the East and West coasts? Why not let our companies drill where foreigners are already drilling off our coasts?

      • I actually knew the situation with MA but used it as an example as it has a certain understanding in modern culture. You clarification though is accurate and appreciated. She was more of a tragic figure than a villian.

        • If she abused people she was a villian.

          Sounds like she was relegating poor people to the dregs from the oven, hard…. In a society that blocked individuals from succeeding.

      • “… with senseless policies.”

        I don’t think that they’re senseless, in the sense that this Administration knows EXACTLY what it is doing. By making their actions appear to be from incompetence, we – a mostly graceful people – aren’t up in arms about it.

    • William: To the best of my knowledge, we do not have any carbon tax and motor fuel taxes have not gone up in some time but as someone else pointed out, never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Also, the list price of a Chevy Bolt is less than $32K with a 260 mile range and I believe that the base price of a Nissan Leaf is around $28K but the range is only about 160 miles. Ford just announced that they are going to lower the list price of the F-150 Crew Cab EV pickup to under $40K which is about the same the gasoline version but the EV version has more power and towing capability. So the prices of EVs are coming down while the total cost of operation is already considerably less than gas or diesel. At an average of 4.3 miles per kWhr and 11 cents per kWhr, it cost me about 2.5 cents per mile to drive my Bolt. If I live long enough to build another plane, it will be an electric powered motor glider.

      • I like the Bolt as a transportation device. It is very good for what it is, discounting the chances of it burning down the house.

        I’d prefer one to any Tesla if I was paying the bill for it.

        With that said I am a ‘car guy’ and would abhor driving a Tesla.

        The day is coming in the future there will be an EV for us car guys. The Taycan, Lyriq, EQS/EQE, eTron, and iPace are all examples.

        They are just not worth the money at this point.

  5. So much for the much hailed benefit of owning jet A flown aircraft. Not only do you have the luxury of paying more than 100LL, you also get the continued privilege of hauling around heck of a lot more weight than 100LL driven aircraft. Nice…

    If this is sustained, it will be interesting to see what it does to the sales of Diamond aircraft this side of the Atlantic. Regarding aviation fuel, conventional thinking has just been shattered.

    • It will not continue. Diesel and Jet A will recover sooner than Unleaded and Avgas. IIRC, the spike was caused before because of a shortage of something else produced in the refinery where if you want more of that thing you then make less diesel and Jet A.

      I apologize, I should know this stuff. What good is it to have a Texan around if he can’t explain the Aaawl business?