Air New Zealand Auckland disruptions update

    Auckland Airport, via its official website, reported (20-Sep-2017) the following cancellations for 20-Sep-2017 due to the temporary fuel supply disruption:

    • Air New Zealand: Auckland-Adelaide (NZ792), Auckland-Nadi (NZ755), Auckland-Brisbane (NZ734);
    • Qantas: Sydney-Auckland (QF141, QF147).

    Air New Zealand confirmed (20-Sep-2017) it continues to experience disruption to its services following the temporary shut down of Refining New Zealand’s pipeline to Auckland. Its domestic network is operating largely as normal and the situation is beginning to stablise.

    • The carrier is beginning to refuel long haul aircraft at Wellington International Airport in response to the fuel restrictions. The airline operated a Boeing 777-200 to Wellington on 19-Sep-2017 with just the pilots on board in order to fill up and return to Auckland in preparation for further long haul operations. Air New Zealand chief operations integrity & standards officer Captain David Morgan said the changes accommodate declining supplies in the Pacific and the carrier is “switching to a different mode of operation whereby Wellington, supplemented by Australia and those Pacific destinations able to support fuel uplifts, will be used to source the extra fuel required to maintain scheduled services”;
    • Planned cancellations for 21-Sep-2017 are five Australian services, two Fiji services and a return service to Vietnam and Houston, bringing total cancellations to 26 domestic, 11 Tasman and Pacific Island and three international long haul. The airline cancelled four trans Tasman and 26 domestic services between 16-Sep-2017 and 20-Sep-2017;
    • Air New Zealand estimates up to 3000 customers will be impacted by the 21-Sep-2017 cancellations, with around 6000 inconvenienced by unexpected schedule changes. In most cases passengers are being accommodated on alternative services and the airline is working through the process of notifying customers. Further disruptions can be expected in coming days;
    • Air New Zealand is taking the step of restricting ticket sales to reduce overall pressure on the network and ensure customers already booked are able to be re-accommodated with minimum disruption. The carrier is stopping all sales on some selected international services;
    • Efforts are also being made to reduce cargo loads. Air New Zealand will no longer accept ad hoc cargo shipments (other than urgent medical equipment) and any pre-arranged consignments heavier than the booked weight will not be accepted for carriage;
    • More than 30 cabin crew with flights cancelled or who were off duty worked at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch Airport by providing passenger assistance. Cabin crew will continue to work in shifts throughout the coming days in support of their ground staff colleagues;
    • The airline remains in close dialogue with key stakeholders including the New Zealand Government, its agencies and fuel companies. [more – original PR – update 5] [more – original PR – update 6] [more – original PR – update 7] [more – original PR – crew adjustments]

    Mobil Oil New Zealand and Refining New Zealand stated (20-Sep-2017) work continues on repairing a section of the pipeline which connects the refinery to Auckland International Airport. The refinery is continuing to produce fuel and the two dedicated coastal shipping vessels are continuing to load at the refinery for distribution around the country’s ports. One of the two vessels will include jet fuel in its shipment. Import vessels are arriving on 21-Sep-2017 and 22-Sep-2017, which will include jet fuel. The companies stated the shipping schedule “should provide confidence around the national fuel supply position – particularly around ensuring jet fuel supplies in airports supporting Auckland”. [more – original PR]