Good news for passengers

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files

Air New Zealand believes it won't have to cancel any flights because of fuel issues on Friday, saying its planes should run according to schedule.

Thousands of passengers have been disrupted this week after a pipeline carrying jet fuel from Refining NZ's Marsden Pt ruptured.

But the national carrier says its domestic network has "operated largely as normal for the past two days".

"Air New Zealand is expecting to operate its regular schedule tomorrow with no fuel related cancellations," it said.

"The airline is continuing to implement a range of measures to reduce fuel uplift in Auckland including some long haul international services making refueling stops at either Australian or Pacific Island airports."

Qantas 'fuel mules' flown to Auckland 

Qantas has flown a jumbo jet and an Airbus A330 across the Tasman into Auckland to use as "fuel mules" for its aircraft hit by the aviation gas shortage.

The Boeing 747-400 was a special flight scheduled on Wednesday night just to deliver fuel and was able to siphon off about 65,000kg to awaiting aircraft and a fuel truck.

The A330 was a scheduled service carrying additional fuel and provided about 10,000kg.

The flights, nicknamed the "fuel mules", transferred fuel directly to aircraft using special hoses which were freighted over to Auckland.

Additional fuel was transferred to a fuel truck and delivered to other Qantas and Jetstar aircraft at the airport.

Fuel is pumped out of the donor aircraft using the aircraft's fuel pumps but when moving fuel from a larger aircraft like the 747 to the smaller A320, gravity does help in the transfer.

By tankering in fuel from Australia, as well as other measures, Qantas and Jetstar have been able to minimise the impact of the Auckland fuel shortage on customers.

Jetstar said impact of the fuel shortage was reducing.


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