Filling up a Boeing 737 Airplane Fuel Tank Costs as Much as a New Pickup Truck

Global instability is causing soaring gas prices at the pump. These rising fuel prices affect the price we pay for food, electricity, and commuting to work. But did you know that it costs about as much to fill up a Boeing 737 airplane as it does to buy a 2022 Ram 1500 pickup truck?

What is a Boeing 737 airplane?

A Boeing 737 flying in the sky
Boeing 737 | Unsplash

The Boeing 737 is a commercial airliner built by the Boeing Aircraft Company with final assembly in its Renton, Washington plant near Seattle. Spirit Aerosystems builds the fuselage, the central part of the plane where people and luggage ride, in Wichita, Kansas, and ships it by train to Renton. 

The Boeing 737 features a wingspan of 117.4 feet, is over 41 feet tall, weighs more than 91,000 pounds, up to 138 feet in length, and seats between 126 and 220 people depending on the aircraft’s configuration with a top speed of 588 mph. 

The Boeing 737 commercial aircraft line is the most common U.S.-built commercial aircraft, with production rates often exceeding 30 airplanes per month. The 737ER (Extended Range) holds up to 10,700 gallons of fuel in its wings and main fuel tank, located between the wings underneath the passenger compartment in the fuselage. 

How much does jet fuel cost? 

A Boston 25 News report states it “currently costs $36,000 to fuel a 737.” While that’s only about $3.36 per gallon, cheaper than what we pay to fill up our car, the report notes that’s an increase of $12,000 over last year’s prices. That much fuel allows the 737ER to fly over 6,600 miles between fuel stops. 

For comparison, a 2022 Ram 1500 pickup truck has a starting price of $36,500, almost as much as fueling a 737 one time. But, of course, the purchase price for a new Boeing 737-700 is around $89.1 million. And a new Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft costs nearly $135 million on average. 

Air travel prices keep flying higher

Air travel prices will likely continue to climb as people are eager to shake off Covid-19 restrictions and resume traveling with fewer restrictions. In fact, as of April 2022, the FAA no longer requires passengers or crew to wear face masks in U.S. airports or on domestic flights. This increase in demand for air travel and rising fuel prices will lead to increased airline ticket prices that likely will not deter customers that were not able to travel for the last couple of years. 

Air travel is still the safest, most economical, and fastest way to travel long distances. The ability to board an airplane at an airport near your home in the morning and arrive at your vacation destination on the same day is an impressive technological feat. Unfortunately, while airline ticket prices continue to rise compared to a few years ago, so does the cost of driving your vehicle. And a lot of the best vacation destinations are not accessible by car. 

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