Auckland Int’l Airport has warned of severe flight delays and cancellations following the closure of a fuel delivery pipeline this past weekend.
The airfield said in a statement that Refining New Zealand, which owns the Marsden Point fuel refinery, closed the pipeline to allow for repairs to a damaged section. The refinery supplies refined petroleum products to Wiri Oil Services Ltd in Auckland, which in turns supplies airlines with aviation fuel at the airport.
“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 currently rationing the amount of fuel they are supplying to airlines,” it said.
Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood said approximately twenty-seven domestic and international flights were cancelled over the weekend, while those that did depart were forced to make technical refuelling stops en route to their final destinations.
Air New Zealand, Auckland’s most prominent operator, said it had cancelled four trans-Tasman and fourteen domestic flights to date, with more expected in the coming days.
The majority of its longhaul flights will be required to undertake refuelling stops at Wellington, Pacific or Australian airports.