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Auckland fuel supply issue
19 September 2017, 12:55 | Ruby West
Air New Zealand passengers getting information after flights were cancelled
New Zealand's busiest airport faces up to two weeks of flight disruption after someone digging up a kauri log damaged the only jet fuel pipeline between Northland's Marsden Point refinery and Auckland.
Air New Zealand said about 2,000 passengers would be affected by by flight cancellations on Monday, with all passengers to be contacted directly on any schedule changes.
She said fuel companies were confident that supply would be maintained and it was unlikely that motorists would be inconvenienced.
Air New Zealand Chief Operations Integrity & Standards Officer Captain David Morgan says the refueling stops completed overnight went well and the practice will continue to alleviate pressure on fuel supplies in Auckland. The fuel shortage means that all airlines only have access to 30 percent of normal fuel usage, Air New Zealand said.
Twenty-seven domestic and worldwide flights at the airport were cancelled yesterday and airlines are being advised to carry enough fuel for planes to make their return journeys. At least 27 global and domestic flights were cancelled over the weekend.
Mr McNaught said Auckland Airport had been hit the hardest because it was exclusively supplied by the Marsden Point pipeline.
Mr English said he did not have details about what impact the shortage could have. The damaged section needs to be replaced and it will take until early next week to reopen the pipeline plus another few days of testing before fuel can be delivered to the airport, the company said.
The disruption is expected to last at least a week as work continues to fix the pipe, an operator said.
"The refinery is still operating, meaning fuel is still being produced and shipped around the country, supplemented by fuel imports as per usual", it said.
"The fuel reliability problems at both Australian and New Zealand airports directly impact passengers, freight forwarders and airlines", BARA executive director Barry Abrams said in a statement.
"Market-based reforms, including fair and reasonable access to on-airport jet fuel storage and distribution systems, are necessary to enable effective competition between suppliers and support reliability and industry resilience".
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