By Sarah Townsend
Fuel supplies at Auckland Airport have been interrupted due to sliced oil pipeline
Emirates has been forced to amend its flight route to New Zealand amid fuel shortages at Auckland Airport.
The Dubai-based carrier told Arabian Business it had made provisions to stop in Melbourne, Australia, for refuelling rather than flying direct from Dubai to Auckland.
A spokesperson said in a statement: “Emirates flight EK449 operating from Auckland to Dubai between 18-24 September, will stop in Melbourne for refuelling due to the Auckland Airport fuel shortage which has affected most international airlines.
“Passengers will not be required to disembark in Melbourne.”
The statement added: “Customers holding tickets with onward connections during this time are advised to contact their local Emirates office and check the status of their flight. Connecting flights will be rebooked as required.”
All supplies of aviation fuel to Auckland Airport have been cut after a log digger cut the oil pipeline from Marsden Point near Ruakaka, north of Auckland, last Thursday, according to reports from New Zealand.
All flights coming into Auckland have been advised to carry enough extra fuel to get out of the country, while long-haul flights are being redirected to refuelling stops at other New Zealand or international airports.
Oil companies have said it could take 10 to 14 days to restore normal supplies and 27 flights from Auckland airport had been cancelled as of Sunday.
New Zealand prime minister Bill English has reportedly instructed ministers to “offer all assistance the Government can” to restore aviation fuel supplies.