Japan could face jet fuel shortage

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

TOKYO and HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It hasn't gotten much attention during the nuclear power plant crisis, but the Japan earthquake damaged refining capacity, and the supply of jet fuel for Japanese airports is running low.

The International Air Transport Association reported Friday that Japan has roughly a 10-day supply of jet fuel, and warned airlines they should try to fly to Japan with enough fuel for at least some of their return trip.

The situation would be worse were it not for the fact that several international airlines have already adjusted their Japan flight schedules so their flight crews can overnight in Seoul or Hong Kong instead of Tokyo, making it possible to refuel in those cities instead.

British Airways is putting up pilots and flight attendants in Hong Kong. Alitalia is using Seoul for crew overnights. Air France has moved flights to Osaka, skipping Tokyo altogether. Delta Air Lines has suspended flights to Tokyo Haneda but it still flying to Tokyo Narita.

Japanese airports have been handling - and refueling - a smaller number of scheduled flights but more charter flights, as embassies arrange for evacuations of their nationals.

Hawaii arrivals on flights from Japan are down 13% since March began, compared to the same period last year, and some who are arriving are evacuees whose employers have given them a choice of destinations to travel to until the danger in Japan is over.

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