Foreign News 

Air New Zealand battles to overcome fuel shortages

Air New Zealand’s domestic network is operating largely as normal and the situation is beginning to stabilise as the airline manages its way through the impact of Refining New Zealand’s temporary shut-down of its pipeline to Auckland.

A 168 kilometre-long pipeline supplying jet fuel from Marsden Point refinery in Northland to tanks in Wiri, Auckland, has been out of action since last Thursday, causing shortages.

It is reported to have been hit by a digger being used to extract swamp kauri near Ruakaka.

Air New Zealand has implemented a range of measures since Sunday in response to the restriction in fuel supply.

It now believes the need for further schedule disruptions will ease and has therefore moved to relax restrictions on fare sales.

Air_New_Zealand
Air New Zealand

In addition to cancellations advised to date, tomorrow’s return Auckland-Houston service is the only new cancellation to be confirmed today.

This brings the total number of cancellations since Sunday to 41.

Passengers due to travel on the cancelled NZ28 and NZ29 services to or from Houston on September 21st will be accommodated on alternative services and the airline is currently working through the process of notifying customers.

Air New Zealand has also lifted its restriction on long-haul ticket sales for services over the coming days, with some restrictions remaining on selected trans-Tasman and Pacific Island services.

The airline is continuing to implement a range of measures to reduce fuel uplift in Auckland.

Today this will include operating an empty Boeing 787-9 to Wellington to be fuelled in preparation for this evening’s flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The airline remains in close dialogue with key stakeholders including Government, its agencies and fuel companies.

Based on information available at this stage, Air New Zealand believes the fuel supply issue is unlikely to have a material impact on the annual result for financial 2018.

Cancellations and schedule changes are being communicated directly to affected customers as information becomes available.

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