Anxious parents worried about aviation fuel rationing are swamping travel agents with calls as the school holidays approach.

House of Travel says staff have been flat out trying to answer calls from worried parents concerned about their trips.

Commercial director Brent Thomas says they don't have a lot of answers at the moment given the fluid situation of supply of fuel to Auckland International Airport, brought to its knees after a digger ruptured the jet fuel line at Ruakaka last week.

Airlines have been ordered to operate on 30 per cent of their normal fuel usage, which has meant delays, rebookings and cancellations of many domestic and international flights.


As the Government organises a working party to work out a way to fix the crisis, travel companies are having to help travellers rearrange their holidays.

Thomas said school holidays have already begun as private schools were due to finish up this week.

"That's why the peak of the travel season starts earlier than the public holidays. It is going to be next week when we start to see a lift in the numbers travelling."

There were also many parents who took their children out of public school a few days early to make the most of the holidays which would see them impacted by the jet fuel drama.

He expects the rush to begin to peak by the middle of next week.

"There are people who choose to take their children out from a public school early who will be travelling particularly in that Wednesday, Thursday, Friday next week, that's when we will start seeing more coming through."

Thomas hoped the pipeline was fixed as soon as possible to avoid any further chaos.

"The thing about planes is, and I'm not an expert, but the amount of fuel you need is totally related to the number of people you've got on it and the amount of cargo you've got underneath. So if there still shortages next week then something is going to have to give."

He said as well as passengers and their luggage, airlines had to carry export cargo, creating a tricky equation for airlines to solve.

Their job was also problematic as it wasn't just flights to rearrange.

"We've still got things like hotels to sort out for them, they might be going into one country and going onto another, cruises to sort out so there's all those sorts of things, so that's what we're dealing with on a day by day basis at the moment."

However, he said the only issue was trying to answer questions for people travelling next week or beyond in such a fluid situation.

"The issue we've got, we are having a lot of people who are coming to our outlets and saying I'm heading away next Tuesday, what do I do? The issue with that is it's hard to give advice at the moment because we don't know what flights will be disrupted at this stage, so it's really a day by day proposition.

"What we say is keep in contact with us and then we can sit down with them."

He said he was just thankful the incident didn't happen during the frantic Christmas period.

"That's the nightmare. Anything from about the 22nd of December, we would have been having a different conversation."