Energy Minister Judith Collins says she's confident there will be no disruptions to school holiday travel as jet fuel allocations at Auckland International Airport were increased today.
Carriers' fuel allocations have been raised to 50 per cent normal from 30 per cent rationing and just seven flights are expected to be cancelled today as the country's main air hub starts returning to business as usual, Collins said in a statement.
Restrictions were imposed earlier this week after damage to the pipeline between the Marsden Point refinery and the Auckland depot disrupted fuel supply, prompting a joint industry and government response.
"The easing of rationing shows the industry's confidence in the progress of the repair, as Refining NZ reports the welding of the new section of pipeline has been completed and has passed its first testing," Collins said. "We are confident there will be no disruption to travel plans for the upcoming school holidays."
Auckland Airport shares slipped 0.5 per cent to $6.435 today.
New Zealand Refining again reaffirmed its expectation service to the Wiri depot will resume between September 24 and September 26, after which it will take another 30 hours before fuel can be transported to the airport. The company anticipates missing out on between $10 million and $15 million of pipeline and refining income as a result. The shares rose 0.4 per cent to $2.44.
The petrol companies have banded together in response to the disruption and have been working on ways to convert storage space at Wynyard Wharf, which could then receive shipments and truck jet fuel to the airport.
Collins today said the companies expect to store diesel and jet fuel at the wharf over the weekend, which would then be available to transport next week.
Retail petrol supplies in Auckland were "secure", although Collins said some stations had run out of 95 octane petrol given deliveries of 91 octane and diesel had priority. Z Energy shares were unchanged at $7.39.
Air New Zealand yesterday said its schedule would return to normal today with the situation stabilising. The shares increased 0.2 per cent to $3.25.