Colonial Pipeline Co., which operates the more than 5,500-mile pipeline from Houston, Texas to Linden, New Jersey, said it aims to restore operational service by the end of the week, but said the process would be gradual. The pipeline directly serves seven airports, according to the company.
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Delta Air Lines’ busiest, said it was looking for other fuel suppliers, but operations were not affected.
“Hartsfield-Jackson and its airline partners are in close communication with fuel suppliers and are taking steps to mitigate any impact the colonial incident may have,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Currently, ATL is coordinating with other suppliers to increase the airport’s fuel inventory. “
Delta declined to comment on the pipeline failure.
American Airlines said in a statement that the effect of the blackout on its operations has so far been minor. It will add stops for two long-haul flights departing from Charlotte Douglas Airport, the carrier said on Monday. A non-stop stop to Honolulu will stop at Dallas-Fort Worth International where the fuel supply has not been interrupted. Customers will change planes there to a Boeing 777-300 to continue to Hawaii.
A Charlotte-London flight will stop in Boston for additional fuel. The changes are effective until at least May 14.
Southwest Airlines flies planes with supplemental fuel at airports, including Nashville International Airport, “to supplement local supply.” Airlines may load more fuel onto planes than is typically needed to avoid or reduce the need for refueling on the ground when supplies are limited.
“We are pleased to report that there has been no impact on Southwest flight operations,” a spokesperson said.
American is also considering transporting fuel by truck or tanker to airports affected by the shortage, according to a person familiar with the matter.
United Airlines said it was working with airports “to understand the impact and our operations are not affected at this time.”
Analysts said the impact on supplies of jet fuel and other refined products like gasoline depends on the length of the outage, especially as Memorial Day weekend approaches.
“We can do an inventory for probably a week and that’s when the problem would then become acute,” said Rick Joswick, global head of petroleum analysis at S&P Global Platts. “I hope this will be resolved by then. “