U.S. Airlines Respond to Erroneous Reports of Flight Cancellations

Airline Industry Managing Fuel Supply Issues in Hurricane Katrina Aftermath

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ — The Air Transport Association said U.S. airlines are not canceling flights as a result of fuel shortages induced by Hurricane Katrina, contrary to some initial media reports.

“Reports of significant flight cancellations are just plain wrong,” ATA President and CEO James C. May said. “It is in fact true that Katrina has resulted in the disruption of refinery capacity as well as pipeline delivery capability, however, the nation’s airlines are on top of this problem. They are managing fuel inventories closely and tankering fuel where necessary. There is not an imminent threat of significant flight cancellations or airports being shut down despite reports to that effect.”

Over the next several weeks fuel supply problems could become more critical if the supply line is not restored, however, reports from both oil companies and pipelines indicate positive developments.

“We are staying on top of this issue and we need the full cooperation of the government and our industry partners to be certain we do not disrupt our vital air transportation system. We are effectively managing this situation and we are not canceling flights due to fuel shortages.”

The Air Transport Association is the trade group representing the nation’s leading airlines. ATA members transport more than 90 percent of all passengers and cargo in the United States.

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