Flight schedules are returning to normal as jet fuel is being trucked to Auckland Airport with the pipeline due to be repaired well before the school holidays.
Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins said airlines had been effectively managing fuel consumption so allocations had been relaxed from 30 per cent to 50 per cent.
"Auckland Airport is returning to business as usual, with the expected number of cancellations today dropping to seven - almost two thirds fewer than the number of cancellations yesterday and down from 37 cancellations on Wednesday. We are confident there will be no disruption to travel plans for the upcoming school holidays," she said.
"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.
"To further increase supply, fuel companies expect to discharge jet fuel and diesel into Wynyard Wharf over the weekend which should be available to transport to the airport, mid next week, subject to quality tests."
Greg McNeill of Refining NZ said the repair team had made good progress overnight.
The replacement section has been welded into place and the initial weld inspections had been passed. The second weld inspection would be carried out tonight.
He said they remained on track to deliver in the early part of the repair 'window', between mid-day Sunday September 24 and mid-day Tuesday September 26. Settling, recertification and transport to the airport for use would take another 30 hours.
Collins said trucks were successfully moving jet fuel from Marsden Point to Auckland Airport. Two trucks have made deliveries this morning so far.
Retail fuel supply in Auckland remained secure, though a small number of service stations in Auckland may be temporarily out of stock of 95 Octane today, as tankers prioritised delivery of 91 and diesel, she said.