Video source: YouTube, CBS Evening News
Jet fuel shortages at small and mid-size airports in the western part of the US are now being reported in other parts of the country, prompting some major carriers to call on pilots to conserve gas or add refueling stops.
In an internal memo sent Monday to pilots, American Airlines Inc’s (NYSE: Chart AAL - $13.72 0.09 (0.66%) ) managing director of flight operations John Dudley said the industry-wide shortage, which stems from a lack of truck drivers, trucks and supply, is expected to last through mid-August.
“As our country continues to face multiple challenges, let’s work together as a team to operate reliably, safely and as efficiently as possible,” Dudley wrote.
As a result, American flights will start carrying additional fuel into airports where the supply is low or add refueling stops. Flight disruptions, so far, have been “minimal” and have not caused any cancellations, according to American.
Delta Air Lines Inc and Southwest Airlines Co both said while fuel delay issues at a few smaller Western airports have not caused any operational problems, they have added more fuel supply on some planes, according to CNBC.
The Associated Press reported over the weekend that the fuel shortages have been exacerbated by the added demand from aircraft being used to fight the ongoing, massive wildfires in the northwest.
Airlines For America, a trade association that represents most large US carriers, told Fox News that airlines “are taking proactive measures such as having aircraft take on extra fuel at non-impacted origin airports in order to supplement the fuel supply at impacted destination airports.”
“We have been and continue to be in communication with federal authorities and pipeline operators to address this jet fuel capacity issue,” the association said.
The shortage comes as demand for domestic leisure travel continues its post-pandemic recovery.
With international travel not an option for many due to vaccination requirements or bans on foreign tourists, more people are booking their summer vacations in the US this year.
According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), US air travel has reached about 80% of its pre-pandemic levels, with about 2 million passengers daily going through security checkpoints at airports. The number of passengers has nearly doubled since early March.
Source: Equities News