Around 2000 passengers a day will be hit by flight cancellations after the only jet fuel pipeline between Northland’s Marsden Point refinery and Auckland Airport was damaged by a digger scraping the pipeline while digging up a kauri log.
Oil companies are responsible for transporting, storing and supplying fuel for use by airlines at the airport and as a result of the pipeline damage, the oil companies are now rationing the amount of fuel they are supplying to airlines.
It said the leak meant fuel supplies at Auckland airport were down to 30 percent of normal capacity and some long-haul flights were having to make additional refuelling stops in Brisbane and Fiji.
Refining NZ said repairs were on schedule and expected to resume deliveries to its Wiri storage depot in south Auckland between Sunday and Tuesday.
“We’re confident that there is sufficient fuel in the Auckland market from both a petrol and diesel perspective”, Mr McNaught said.
“All grades of fuel are being trucked into the city and there is no cause for concern”, communications manager Jonathan Hill said.
Up to 80,000 litres of jet fuel – or about two tanker loads – spilled from the pipeline at Ruakaka, about 130km north of Auckland.
The navy is also assisting, with the HMNZS Endeavour carrying fuel from Marsden Point to other areas in the country and Defence Force drivers helping with deliveries.
Queenstown Airport has yet to be affected by Auckland’s jet fuel crisis, but is monitoring the situation.