Qantas "fuel mules" top up Jetstar and Qantas aircraft
Qantas "fuel mules" top up Jetstar and Qantas aircraft at Auckland airport
Please see comments below which can be attributed to a Qantas Spokesperson
• Overnight, Qantas operated a Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A330 into Auckland carrying aviation fuel to help top up Jetstar and Qantas aircraft at Auckland airport.
• The 747 was a special flight scheduled just to deliver fuel and was able to siphon off about 65,000kgs to awaiting aircraft and a fuel truck. The A330 was a scheduled service carrying additional fuel and provided around 10,000 kilograms.
• The flights, nicknamed the “fuel mules”, transferred fuel directly to aircraft using special hoses which were freighted over to Auckland. Additional fuel was transferred to a fuel truck and delivered to other Qantas and Jetstar aircraft at the airport.
• Fuel is pumped out of the donor aircraft using the aircraft’s fuel pumps but when moving fuel from a larger aircraft like the 747 to the smaller A320, gravity does help in the transfer.
• The preference is for the aircraft to be parked side by side to ensure the fuel transfer is completed as quickly as possible.
• By tankering in fuel from Australia, as well as other measures, Qantas and Jetstar have been able to minimise the impact of the Auckland fuel shortage on customers.
For images, please click here – they were captured by photographer Ollie Dale.