Air New Zealand believes it won't have to cancel any flights today because of fuel issues and expects its planes should run according to schedule.

Thousands of passengers were disrupted this week after a pipeline carrying jet fuel from Refining NZ's Marsden Point ruptured.

But the national carrier says its domestic network has "operated largely as normal for the past two days".

"Air New Zealand is expecting to operate its regular schedule tomorrow with no fuel-related cancellations," it said.


"The airline is continuing to implement a range of measures to reduce fuel uplift in Auckland, including some long-haul international services making refuelling stops at either Australian or Pacific Island airports."

Meanwhile the travel restrictions on civil servants have been lifted.

Public sector workers were asked earlier this week to avoid non-essential flights.

However, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment chief executive Carolyn Tremain says she's now happy to see them resume their normal travel schedule.

Airlines had been ordered to operate on 30 per cent of normal fuel usage, forcing delays, rebookings and cancellations of many domestic and international flights. But overnight Wednesday that jumped to 50 per cent as the industry gains some certainty about fuel supplies.

Late yesterday afternoon navy oil tanker HMNS Endeavour arrived at the Marsden Point wharf. The ship will carry up to 4.8 million litres of diesel or the equivalent of 150 road tankers to ports around New Zealand.

The New Zealand Defence Force has deployed 70 extra personnel to help ease the fuel shortage, including 55 sailors, six Air Force refuellers and 12 truck drivers who will get behind the wheel of tankers today.

"Everyone in the team is eager to get on with the job. We are glad to be helping out the community," said Lance Corporal Nix Vunipola.

She is one of six NZDF drivers who will be moving fuel from Wellington to Palmerston North and Napier.

Six drivers will also take civilian tankers full of jet fuel from Marsden Point to Auckland, while eight have been placed on standby to support deliveries.

The tankers will be moving fuel non-stop until September 30, by which time the pipeline is expected to be running again.

Refining New Zealand said it was on track to have the pipeline fixed before Wednesday next week. It would then be another 30 hours before the fuel settled, was recertified and taken to the airport for use.

The repair crew spent all Wednesday night removing a 17m section of pipe, with its replacement delivered to the site and tested yesterday.

The new section had been hydro-tested ahead of being welded in place. Specialist insurers Lloyds were to inspect the pipe twice over a 24-hour holding period.

The company yesterday was still testing a new jet fuel tanker loading facility which, if successful, would allow tankers to start loading fuel at Marsden Point last night.
Customers of Refining New Zealand said the industry also planned to repurpose an old chemical tank at Wynyard Wharf to hold jet fuel.

Mobil NZ's Andrew McNaught said the Matuku was set to arrive at Ports of Auckland on Saturday to discharge jet fuel and diesel, which would help ease pressure on Wiri fuel stocks.

The improved outlook will be welcome news for anxious parents who have been swamping travel agents with calls as the school holidays approach.