Jet fuel shortage causing flight cancellations at Auckland Airport

Sep 19, 2017, 00:57
Jet fuel shortage causing flight cancellations at Auckland Airport

There are no cancellations for Malaysia Airlines Bhd's flights to Auckland Airport in New Zealand despite the rupture in the main pipeline carrying jet fuel there.

"However, closer inspection after excavating the pipeline has shown that the damaged section needs to be replaced".

Mr McNaught said Auckland Airport had been hit the hardest because it was exclusively supplied by the Marsden Point pipeline.

News of the damaged pipeline, which connects a refinery to the Wiri Oil Services facility near the airport, first emerged on Sunday, when Auckland Airport announced on Twitter there were fuel shortages.

New Zealand Refining said the damage would probably mean it would make between 10 million New Zealand dollars and NZ$15 million less revenue in its current fiscal year, with the pipeline expected to run at a reduced capacity once it's fixed.

So far, all of the cancelled flights have been domestic, with inbound global flights diverting to other NZ airports to refuel before touching down at Auckland, or tapping some of the supply that is getting to the airport.

The company said it had never experienced a pipeline leak before.

It appeared heavy equipment had dent the pipe and removed the protective coating, Mr Post said in a statement. The contaminated soil has been removed, the refinery said.

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"We will have additional staff in the terminals supporting passengers and addressing any questions or concerns they may have", he said in a statement.

Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia were also advising their passengers to expect disruptions to flights into and out of Auckland, with some services taking in refuelling stops in either Wellington or Christchurch.

The government has offered to "work with" airlines hampered by the shortage of jet fuel.

All airlines using Auckland Airport are now restricted on how much they can refuel.

"Airlines are working hard to minimise rescheduling and the knock-on effect this will have with travellers' connections to other flights", Tighe-Umbers said in a statment.

"New Zealand doesn't need to be embarrassed about this".

Z Energy said that nationally, fuel supplies were healthy.

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