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Air NZ seeks millions in damages from Z Energy after fuel pipeline damaged

Air NZ seeks millions in damages from Z Energy after fuel pipeline damaged

Air New Zealand is seeking millions of dollars in damages from Z Energy over its failure to supply jet fuel during two weeks in 2017 leading to cancelled flights.

The national carrier’s lawyer, Nathan Gedye, QC, told the High Court in Auckland that the airline had to cancel flights, and suffered losses, when the 168 kilometre fuel pipeline from the Marsden Refinery in Northland was damaged by a digger operator.

During the time that the pipeline was out of action between September 16 and 30, Z Energy provided only 30 per cent of the jet fuel Air New Zealand needed to operate its domestic and international flights.

Air New Zealand treasurer Paul Kelway told the court he believed that after the pipeline was closed, Z Energy prioritised keeping petrol stations fully stocked in order not to avoid a backlash from motorists ahead of the the October general election, perhaps because it was encouraged to by the National-led government.