Air New Zealand is continuing to experience disruption to its services following the temporary shut-down of Refining New Zealand’s pipeline to Auckland.
The airline cancelled four trans-Tasman and 26 domestic flights between Sunday and Wednesday. Unfortunately, is it now necessary to cancel further services due to operate tomorrow. These include five Australian services, two Fiji services and a return service to Ho chi Minh, Vietnam. This brings total cancellations so far to 26 domestic, 11 Tasman and Pacific Island and two international long haul.
Air New Zealand estimates up to 3000 customers will be impacted by cancellations tomorrow 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.
In order to reduce overall pressure on the network and ensure customers already booked are able to be re-accommodated with minimum disruption, Air New Zealand is taking the unusual step of restricting ticket sales. This includes 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.
This afternoon the airline also began refueling wide body long-haul aircraft at Wellington Airport to supplement the refueling stops long-haul flights have been making at Australian and Pacific airports in an effort to reduce fuel uptake in Auckland.
The airline remains in close dialogue with key stakeholders including Government, its agencies and fuel companies.
Chief Operations Integrity and Standards Officer Captain David Morgan says Air New Zealand is doing all it can to minimise disruption to customers under very challenging circumstances. “Our teams are working hard on solutions and we are communicating to impacted customers as quickly as we can. We appreciate their continued patience as we respond to this developing situation.”
Cancellations and schedule changes are being communicated directly to affected customers as information becomes available. Media and customers are advised to keep an eye on the Air New Zealand Travel Alerts page for up to date information on affected services.
Customers currently booked to travel into or out of Auckland this week are advised to ensure their contact details have been included in their booking and that they have signed up for travel alerts. Customers not already signed up can do so here. Alternatively customers can download the Air NZ mobile app to view up-to-date details on their bookings and be notified of any flight changes.