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Air New Zealand cancellations to affect 2000 travellers today

19 September, 2017, 00:56 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • Reuters     
       A airport pipeline rupture in Auckland hurt shares of New Zealand Refining and Air New Zealand on Monday

Refining NZ says a crack in a jet fuel pipeline from the Marsden Point oil refinery to Wiri near Auckland Airport will take 10 to 15 days to fix.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand-A leak in a pipeline from a refinery that services New Zealand's busiest airport and is causing delays and flight cancellations is worse than expected.

Meanwhile, the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) noted the reliance on a single supplier of fuel at key worldwide airports was also an issue on this side of the Tasman, such as the shortages at Melbourne Tullamarine in 2015.

The pipeline is the only source of jet fuel for Auckland Airport.

Thousands of passengers are expected to be impacted by flight cancellations; 27 global and domestic flights have so far been affected. Passengers are advised to check the website of Auckland Airport or their individual carrier, for information on delays and the latest status of their flights.

Meanwhile, a number of its flights between Auckland and North America will operate with a refuelling stop at selected airports in the Pacific such as Nadi, Fiji.

The pipeline is operated by Refining NZ, which said it will take days for the pipeline to be repaired due to safety precautions.

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"Early identification and containment has minimised the environmental impact of the leak", the company said in a statement.

The pipeline operator, Refining NZ, said repairs would take at least a week, possibly two, raising the prospect of ongoing major disruption. The airline predicted about 2,000 passengers a day would be affected.

"The refinery is still operating, meaning fuel is still being produced and shipped around the country, supplemented by fuel imports as per usual", it said.

The company is doing all it could to fix the pipeline, she says.

The New Zealand government, which faces an election on Saturday, came under pressure to intervene amid concerns of a shortage of motor fuel.

"BARA has long argued that supply chain constraints and lack of effective competition among jet fuel suppliers stymie industry performance and will impede ongoing growth".

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