Auckland fuel crisis: Govt warned of pipeline vulnerability

About 27 domestic and international flights were cancelled over the weekend

About 27 domestic and international flights were cancelled over the weekend

The fuel companies are confident that supply of these fuels will be maintained and it is unlikely that motorists will be inconvenienced. Initial estimates are that about 70,000 liters of jet fuel were lost and it will take 10 to 15 days to reopen the pipeline.

The leak has disrupted jet fuel supply at Auckland airport, prompting carriers to restrict fuel use by consolidating passenger numbers and cancelling flights. For the latest updates, including arrivals and departures times, please refer to Air New Zealand's website or call the contact centre on 0800 737 000.

"It is assumed that airlines would manage this shortfall by rationalising flights and bunkering fuel", the ministry determined, adding oil companies could and should manage supply disruptions without government intervention.

Those affected were passengers travelling on Air New Zealand and Virgin Airways to Samoa the Gold Coast and Melbourne

Customers now booked to travel into or out of Auckland over the coming week are advised to keep an eye on the Travel Alerts page of the Air New Zealand website for the latest information.

The risk of an outage was made worse by possible damage to New Zealand's global reputation through bad publicity, it said in a submission to MBIE. "We are absolutely sorry to New Zealand and to Auckland that this is happening".

The Civil Aviation Act (CAA) requires airlines to compensate passengers for domestic flights cancelled or delayed for reasons within its control, such as staffing issues.

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The airline is also ensuring domestic jet services uplift maximum fuel limits when operating out of Wellington or Christchurch to limit refueling in Auckland.

Those with basic insurance policies could struggle to get compensation.

More comprehensive policies cover holders for flights and pre-paid accommodation costs in the event of a flight delay or cancellation due to unforeseen events such as the pipeline leak.

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"Cancelling a number of domestic flights affects activity, but it's still up in the air", Borkin said. The leak was found in a 170-kilometer pipeline connecting New Zealand's only oil refinery north of Auckland with a terminal near the city's airport.

The severity of the pipeline damage in Northland means it could could take "a lot longer" to fix, he said.

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