Airlines will start receiving the first batch of jet fuel through the main pipeline to Auckland Airport since it was damaged earlier this month. Two million litres will be transferred on Monday evening local time, ending a 10-day shortage.Most flights have returned to normal after a week of disruptions due to the burst pipe. Fuel supplies had been rationed but daily allocations will be lifted from 50% to 80% from midnight.About 140 flights were cancelled at New Zealand’s largest airport and the plans of thousands of travellers disrupted last week after the pipeline was ruptured by a digger on a rural property. Several petrol stations in Auckland were also hit by fuel shortages because of the burst pipe. The disruptions have eased following repairs to the pipe, and only four flights were cancelled on Monday.
Fuel industry spokesperson Andrew McNaught, who is also the manager of Mobil Oil New Zealand, told the BBC another batch of 4.8m litres of jet fuel is expected to be delivered on Wednesday. But supplies flowing through to the airport will be reduced for some time. Pipeline operator Refining NZ said the pipe will run at 80% capacity until the end of the year to allow further tests to be carried out.Still, a trade group representing 30 airlines flying in and out of Auckland Airport said carriers will be able to make up any shortfalls. “It doesn’t necessarily translate into a fuel shortage for the airlines because they have other means of supplementing their ground fuel such as road transportation,” Justin Tighe-Umbers, executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand told the BBC.