Early Monday I predicted that the Colonial Pipeline hack, attributed by the FBI to Russian group DarkSide, could create significant problems for airlines with a fuel shortage in the Southeast. One of the airports I flagged for concern was Charlotte.
Already American Airlines is scheduling long flights from Charlotte to Honolulu and London with a refueling stop. I also contemplated the possibility also of flying planes into Charlotte with extra fuel so they could make short return trips without gassing up. However, American appears to be working on another plan.
Aviation watchdog JonNYC reports that American is working through whether it’s feasible to operate large widebody aircraft – Boeing 777s – from other hubs on their flights to Charlotte. They’d gas up the 777s, which can fly to Asia, with full tanks of fuel in places like Dallas. Then they’d siphon out the gas for flights that need to depart from Charlotte.
2. Airline trying to figure out if it is possible/practical using a 777 on a hub-hub route, load it up with as much fuel as they could from a hub that doesn't have a fuel shortage, and then remove fuel from the aircraft upon arrival in CLT to fuel trucks to be used for other ac
— ˜”*° JonNYC °*”˜ (@xJonNYC) May 10, 2021
I’m not certain what waivers might be required for this. It surprises me to hear it talked about, versus just carrying more fuel to cover short return trips. And it’s likely that things haven’t reached the point yet where this is necessary and such planning is merely prudent as a contingency. But it shows those who are directly affected by the shutdown of the pipeline think this is serious.