A statement from the national airline said Fiji Airways guests travelling to and from Auckland may experience disruptions and delays to their flight because of the restrictions on jet fuel supply at Auckland Airport. Since then, at least 70 domestic and worldwide flights have been cancelled, including 29 on Tuesday.
“Airlines are working hard to minimise rescheduling and the knock-on effect this will have with travellers’ connections to other flights”, Mr Tighe-Umbers says.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) said its SQ286 Auckland-Singapore flight would make a refuelling stop in Sydney on Wednesday and Thursday, while Cathay Pacific CX198 is stopping in Brisbane enroute from Auckland to Hong Kong.
Opposition leader Jacinda Ardern, who is hoping to oust English in the election, said the government was warned years ago about relying too much on the pipeline.
“We were obviously vulnerable. Work should have been done to make sure that we were more resilient than this”, Ardern told reporters.
The fuel shortages would affect about 9,000 passengers’ air travel plans on Wednesday, Air New Zealand said.
“Emirates flight EK449 operating from Auckland to Dubai between 18-24 September, will stop in Melbourne for refuelling due to the Auckland Airport fuel shortage, which has affected most worldwide airlines”, a spokesperson of the company said.
The pipeline’s owner says the repairs will not be completed until sometime next week.
“This is subject to availability of jet fuel for these non-scheduled flights”.
Air New Zealand is restricting ticket sales as airline services continue to be disrupted by a rupture to a pipeline carrying jet fuel to the airport.
The carrier said it planned to cancel eight global flights on Wednesday, including five to Australia, two to Fiji, and one to Vietnam. This brings the total number of cancellations since Sunday to 41.
The New Zealand Defence Force is finalising the logistics of supplying its trucks and fuel for use in the fuel’s transportation.
The ruptured pipeline also carries diesel and gasoline, although the shortage has been most acutely felt by the airlines.
The refinery company said yesterday that a jet fuel loading station at Marsden Pt was now ready to fill tankers as soon as they arrived but a representative for fuel companies said they still did not know whether they could use road tankers or a tank on Wynyard Wharf in central Auckland for aviation gas.