Pilots of American Airlines are being urged to save jet fuel.
American Airlines advised its pilots to save as much fuel as possible on Monday, saying that a supply shortage in the United States is posing a threat to the company’s operations.
In a communication to pilots, Managing Director of Flight Operations John Dudley urged, “Use all available fuel reduction methods when practicable.” “Every gallon of jet fuel saved makes a difference.”
Fuel shortages, as well as trucks to transport it and drivers, are contributing to the supply deficit, according to Dudley.
“These issues are affecting not only airports and airlines, but also attempts to combat significant forest fires on the West Coast,” according to the memo.
The fuel shortage is the latest issue for US airlines, which are seeing a vaccine-fueled rise in travel demand following a dramatic drop last year during the worst of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Fuel shortages were first discovered in the western United States, but “are now being reported at American stations across the country,” according to Dudley, who also predicted fuel delivery delays until mid-August.
When planes travel from locations where fuel is plentiful to cities where supplies are scarce, Dennis Tajer, a representative for the Allied Pilots Association (APA), anticipates pilots to carry more fuel than is required to finish their route.
He told AFP that because extra fuel adds weight to planes, some seats may need to be left empty, but that “safety is the most important thing.”
In addition to reducing fuel consumption, Dudley advised pilots to alert American Airlines dispatchers as soon as possible “if it is required to land en route,” noting that adding extra fuel “will result in a heavier aircraft during landing.”
“These additional problems are manageable,” APA wrote in an email to union members, adding, “but it’s necessary to be proactive and work closely with the load agents and dispatchers.”