FORT WORTH, Texas — The fuel needle is moving closer to “empty” at some U.S. airports. That's according to American Airlines, which is asking pilots to take steps to save fuel. American is reporting low fuel levels at “several” small to midsize airports, mostly because of a shortage of fuel tankers and drivers. Other airlines are seeing the effects too. Delta Air Lines says it sees a shortage is Reno, Nevada. Southwest says the fuel situation isn't affecting flights, but it's adding more fuel on some planes to limit the amount needed at airports with shortages.
"We are aware of fuel supply issues at some airports, predominately across the western U.S., affecting a number of carriers. American Airlines said in a written statement sent to WFAA. "American is currently experiencing minimal operational impact due to fuel supply issues. Our team continues to work around the clock to monitor the situation and minimize the impact on our customers."
Advocacy organization Airlines For America said in a written statement sent to WFAA "a lack of available pipeline space for jet fuel and a shortage of fuel trucks and drivers amid surging demand for air travel and cargo" is what is contributing to the fuel shortage:
"A lack of available pipeline space for jet fuel and a shortage of fuel trucks and drivers amid surging demand for air travel and cargo are contributing to low fuel inventories at some airports, primarily smaller ones in the western United States. U.S. airlines are working to accommodate that demand while minimizing any potential disruptions to passengers or shippers. Carriers 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."
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