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Air NZ cancels flights, says 2000 disrupted as oil pipeline shuts

Air NZ cancels flights, says 2000 disrupted as oil pipeline shuts

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

The shutdown of New Zealand Refining Company Ltd's pipeline has disrupted the plans of all airlines operating in and out of New Zealand's busiest airport, the airline said in a market filing.

About 27 domestic and global flights were cancelled over the weekend.

Air New Zealand said on Monday it was experiencing disruption in operations because of an outage in Refining New Zealand's pipeline to Auckland.

The airline warned there would be further disruptions to its domestic jet, regional and transtasman flights.

It is hoped the pipeline will be fixed and jet fuel delivered to Wiri in south Auckland by Tuesday next week at the latest.

Defence would also provide 20 more tanker drivers, cancel an exercise with Singapore to save fuel, and look at options to let some commuter aircraft refuel at an airforce base.

The pipeline was closed for repairs and expected to return to 70 percent capacity by September 24-26, a spokesman said.

"It's been made very clear to all of those working on this that the Government will commit whatever resources and effort are required to get this sorted out as quickly as possible with a minimum disruption".

The temporary shut-down to restore the fuel supply and fix the damaged the pipeline could potentially disrupt travel for the next 10 to 14 days, according to the New Zealand government. A full list of flight cancellations is available on the Air New Zealand Travel Alerts page and will be updated regularly.

Seven departures and seven arrivals were cancelled on Monday morning, according to the Auckland Airport's website.

"The fuel reliability problems at both Australian and New Zealand airports directly impact passengers, freight forwarders and airlines", BARA executive director Barry Abrams said in a statement.

The fuel pipeline was reportedly damaged by an industrial digger trying to move a kauri log some months ago.

Prime Minister Bill English said he had advised ministers to work closely with the companies affected.


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