Some Auckland Flights Hit As Pipeline Repairs Continue
More flights were cancelled on Monday and Tuesday at New Zealand’s main international airport in Auckland as work continued to repair a broken fuel pipe.
A mechanical digger was reported to have ruptured a fuel supply pipe from the Marsden Point fuel refinery that feeds Auckland and the airport. The damage could have happened several months ago but an increase in supply to the airport may have caused a deterioration leading to the rupture.
Auckland Airport said in a statement “Oil companies are responsible for transporting, storing and supplying fuel for use by airlines operating out of Auckland. As a result of the pipeline damage the oil companies are currently rationing the amount of fuel they are supplying to airlines.”
The airport said it did not know how long the repair would take and the resumption of normal fuel supply.
The airport’s largest airline customer Air New Zealand cancelled 18 flights on Monday, 10 on Tuesday and 12 on Wednesday. Most cancellations were on domestic services, with a limited number of trans-Tasman services also affected. Air NZ long-haul flights will refuel at other airports including Wellington, Brisbane, and Nadi in Fiji.
Qantas and Virgin Australia advised that some Auckland flights may be disrupted as a result of the fuel shortage.
Emirates said its Dubai-Auckland flight EK449 will be rerouted through Melbourne to refuel. The change will operate until September 24th.
Cathay Pacific will reroute its flight CX198 through Brisbane while the fuel shortage continues.
Fuel stations in and around the Auckland area were beginning to report shortages on Tuesday, with some forced to close as fuel ran out.