Air New Zealand is relaxing restrictions on some ticket sales and says the fuel crisis is beginning to stabilise, after cancelling 41 flights since a vital pipeline ruptured.


Tomorrow's return service from Auckland to Houston is the latest to be grounded and the airline will work with passengers to find alternative services.

Since the pipeline carrying jet fuel from Refining NZ's Marsden Pt ruptured last week. about 9000 Air New Zealand passengers have been disrupted.

The airline now believes "the need for further schedule disruptions will ease" from now.

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"Air New Zealand has also lifted its restriction on long-haul ticket sales for services over the coming days. Some restrictions remain on selected trans-Tasman and Pacific Island services. The airline is continuing to implement a range of measures to reduce fuel uplift in Auckland. Today this will include operating an empty Boeing 787-9 to Wellington to be fuelled in preparation for this evening's flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina," it said.

Fuel rationing at Auckland Airport is likely to continue for airlines until next Thursday, a spokesman for the oil industry says.

Since the crisis began on Sunday, planes leaving Auckland Airport have been asked to operate with only 30 per cent of normal fuel levels.

A Mobil Oil spokesman said today that rationing, although being reviewed daily, is now likely to last until September 28.

Air New Zealand has reiterated today that the fuel issues would not have a big effect on its bottom line.