Jet fuel consumption in South Korea tumbled to a 17-year low in 2021 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Tuesday.
Jet fuel consumption in Asia's fourth-largest economy came to 21.17 million barrels last year, down 2.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the state-run Korea National Oil Corp.
The decrease followed a 44 percent on-year nosedive in 2020, which was sparked by the government's strict social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Last year's tally was the lowest since 2004 and about half the amount recorded in 2019.
South Korea's jet fuel production amounted to 97.18 million barrels last year, down 13.7 percent from a year earlier and the lowest yearly tally since 2006.
"The country's jet fuel consumption plunged in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic," an official of the Korea Petroleum Association said. "Last year's decline was also caused by the coronavirus outbreak."
South Korean airlines struggled to cope with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic last year as the disease forced them to ground most international flights.
However, jet fuel consumption in the country began to increase gradually in the second half of last year, with January's consumption exceeding the 2 million barrel mark for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Industry watchers said South Korea's jet fuel consumption has bottomed out and will likely bounce back this year thanks to softer coronavirus restrictions.
Meanwhile, consumption of petroleum products in the country stood at 937.1 million barrels last year, up 6.8 percent from the previous year, according to the data. (Yonhap)