Wellington Scoop

Air New Zealand refuelling wide-body long-haul planes in Wellington

News from Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand is beginning to refuel wide-body long-haul aircraft at Wellington International Airport as it continues to respond to fuel restrictions imposed following the temporary shut-down of Refining New Zealand’s pipeline to Auckland.

A Boeing 777-200 aircraft will operate to Wellington this afternoon 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 says this is to accommodate declining supplies in the Pacific.

“On that basis we are 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.”

News from NZ Labour Party
Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash.

“It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is being removed from flights to lighten the load because of the jet fuel crisis, and workers are turning up to work at Auckland Airport and finding their shifts cancelled.

“We understand that workers for foreign airlines, who don’t enjoy the same level of benefits as those contracted to Air New Zealand, are especially affected.

“Rosters are changing, crews are being turned away. Yet nothing has been said by the Government to make sure these workers are being looked after. They still have bills to pay too, Bill.

“The role of any Government is to know the risks, and prepare for them. We have clear evidence that this Government discussed the risks in a 2012 Cabinet Paper, and chose to tinker instead of building genuine resilience into the supply network.

“This is the 21st century and in a modern country a digger driver shouldn’t have such a serious impact on our national economy. This is a failure of leadership and management by National.

“There are serious questions of the Government’s handling that remain unanswered.

“We’re aware that freight is being removed from flights. How much, and what is the Government doing to mitigate the potential losses for our exporters?

“What will be done to support workers who find their shifts have been cancelled or curtailed?

“If the damage was known last Thursday, why did it take three days for it to become known, so our businesses, travellers and freight companies could better prepare for the impact?

“And if National really is the party of infrastructure, how could they sit back in full knowledge of the risks of disruption to the fuel supply without planning for better storage of fuel reserves?

“The answer is that the Government doesn’t have the answers. They’ve been caught out, and it’s our exporters, travellers, businesses who’ve been harmed, and New Zealand’s reputation along with it,” says Stuart Nash.


  1. Russel Norman, 19. September 2017, 17:47

    Judith Collins’ latest in fuel crisis – petrol tankers can drive in bus lanes (I kid you not!). Next will be kauri log diggers w soft plastic teeth! [via twitter]

  2. Neil Douglas, 19. September 2017, 19:20

    The problem: Jumbo Jet =180,000 Litres of aviation fuel (kerosene).
    Airbus = 320,000 Litres

    Whereas a typical fuel tanker 4 wheeler = 13,000 Litres and a 6 wheeler 19,000 Litres. So nine road tankers needed to refuel one Jumbo Jet.