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American Airlines warns pilots nationwide fuel shortages to continue through mid-August

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US | July 27, 2021 4:15:03 AM IST
Washington [US], July 27 (ANI/Sputnik): American Airlines jet fuel shortages that impacted mostly Western cities amid wildfires have spread across the United States and will continue until the middle of August, CNBC reported citing an internal company memorandum.

US media reported that more than 20,000 firefighters were combating explosive wildfires across the West during the weekend, as homes burned and thousands of residents fled fast-spreading flames.

"American Airlines station jet fuel delivery delays initially affected mostly western US cities, but are now being reported at American stations across the country," the memorandum said on Monday. "Delivery delays are expected to continue through mid-August."

The airline warned its pilots about fuel delivery delays at certain midsize airports and asked them to save fuel when possible, according to the report. The carrier blamed the shortage on a lack of trucks, drivers and jet fuel supply itself, the report added.

The airline also said flights will carry additional fuel into airports affected by shortages, a procedure known as tankering.

Delta Air Lines said it had taken "extraordinary measures" to prevent fuel shortages for its flights in Reno, Nevada, which was the focal point of forest fires. It also said there was the "larger issue" of refiners prioritizing gasoline production at this time of the year, putting a squeeze on jet fuel output.

"There is no current operational impact to Reno flying for our customers, that's because of extraordinary measures taken by the Delta teams," the carrier said in a statement. "The larger issue here is that jet fuel has lost pipeline space to gasoline and diesel over the past year due to the pandemic. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the pipelines, and the airlines need to work together to allow space on the pipelines to ship the needed jet fuel to the airports."

Energy market analyst John Kilduff told Sputnik the airports in the western United States are running low on jet fuel stocks because of demand from emergency aircraft deployed to fight forest fires in the region.

"It's happening out in the West areas of the US, because of all the demand for aviation fuel that you need there now for fighting forest fires, using chemical dumps and water dumps," Kilduff, a founding partner at New York energy fund Again Capital and regular commentator on oil market events, said.

Kilduff said the shortage was "really isolated but happening."

"This is a seasonal occurrence each summer and it's occurring earlier than usual this time than the typical mid to late August period, at the height of the heat wave," he said. (ANI/Sputnik)

 
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