Airport runs out of fuel after demand spikes

Noise boundaries: A Virgin Australia aircraft leaves Queenstown international airport over Frankton PICTURE: STEPHEN JAQUIERY

Two Virgin Australia flights from Queenstown were affected last Friday when the airport ran out of fuel.

A flight to Melbourne was cancelled and a flight to Sydney was delayed by a few hours till fuel arrived from Cromwell.

“An unexpected spike in demand coupled with a logistics issue caused a short-term fuel stock availability issue,” BP Oil New Zealand comms specialist Gordon Gillan says. “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience the situation caused.

“We have worked closely with our logistics partner and the airlines to rebuild airport fuel stocks and don’t expect any further issues.”

Queenstowner Geoff Cotton, who was waiting to fly to Sydney for a funeral the next day, says the situation was “a shambles”.

“I asked Virgin if they had enough money to pay for fuel as we were happy to lend them some.

“People were just laughing when they said they were waiting for the truck to come from Cromwell.”

It’s thought the Melbourne flight was cancelled because the pilots would have exceeded their flying hours for the day.