Jet fuel prices in New York soared an average of 17.2 cents, or more than 10 percent, the first week of June to the highest levels so far in 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The price of jet fuel averaged $1.79 a gallon in New York the week ending June 5, the EIA said, and peaked at $1.828 a gallon during the week. It reached even higher in Los Angeles, hitting $1.86 a gallon on one day.
Although still well below the prices airlines paid a year ago, when jet fuel peaked at more than $4 a gallon, the average price so far in June is some 40 cents higher than the average air carriers paid in the first five months of 2009.
The rising prices come as air carriers are facing declining freight and passenger traffic, prompting a new round of cutbacks. American Airlines on Friday announced it was laying off 1,600 workers and reducing capacity 7.5 percent, up from an earlier plan for a 6.5 percent reduction.
The carriers likely will face even higher fuel costs. Oil prices have grown to more than $70 a gallon, also pushing diesel and gasoline rates to their highest levels of the year.