Fuel costs are the main input cost variable for an airline. The fuel cost is, therefore, a major item to watch. But as the green wave continues its drive across the industry, the other side of fuel burn is pollution. Less fuel burn means lower costs and greener credentials. Green is important, but saving cash will still be item #1.
The following chart uses Form 41 data and shows an impressive trend for improved fuel burn since 2010. The US airline industry cut fuel burn as a percent of operating costs by 13%.