Fuel shortage prompts flight cancellations at Auckland Airport

A burst pipe has crippled the supply of jet fuel to Auckland Airport

So far, all of the cancelled flights have been domestic, with inbound worldwide flights diverting to other NZ airports to refuel before touching down at Auckland, or tapping some of the supply that is getting to the airport.

About two dozen flights out of Auckland have been cancelled due to the jet fuel shortage.

The leak at the Marsden Point Oil Refinery near Ruakaka caused at least 27 domestic and worldwide flights to be cancelled at Auckland Airport yesterday.

Refining NZ which owns the pipeline said it could take 10 to 15 days to fix.

The statement said fuel companies were rationing the amount of oil they supplied airlines because a leaking Auckland supply pipeline was being repaired at Marsden Point.

Air New Zealand has cancelled 27 today and says a similar number on Monday.

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Mobil confirmed a leak in the pipeline from Marsden Point to Wiri, South Auckland - which supplies aviation fuel - had been discovered on Thursday.

"There are fuel stocks on hand in Auckland and additional stocks of petrol and diesel are being trucked in directly from the refinery, and from the terminal in Mt Maunganui".

Mr McNaught said airlines would have to carry more fuel to enable return flights without refuelling and stop to fuel at other airports on the way to and from Auckland.

The supply to Auckland Airport has been cut and airlines have been told to find somewhere else to fill up their planes.

Chief executive Adrian Littlewood said the airport was working with airlines to monitor the impact of the disruption, with a focus on assisting passengers. I have also offered them, and the companies supplying fuel, Government assistance, if we are needed.

It said it would let customers know directly about flight changes and wanted passengers to check the website for flight details.

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