Travel chaos threat at Manchester Airport over fuel supply problems
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Thousands of passengers could have their travel plans disrupted thanks to a problem with the aviation fuel supply at Manchester Airport.
The airport said flights could be cancelled, diverted or delayed over the issue, which is likely to affect services from 6pm today through to Thursday morning.
The fuel supply comes from the Essar refinery near Ellesmere Port on Merseyside via a pipeline that can pump 250,000 litres an hour.
Whilst fuel has started pumping through the pipe again, the time it takes to fill the tanks and for it to settle means refuelling of planes will not be able to start again until the morning.
The fuel storage centre at Manchester Airport is operated by MASHCo, which is a joint venture between Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP and Q8.
Manchester Airport told the Independent: "Today the airline fuel supply companies operating at Manchester airport are experiencing temporary problems with their supply of aviation fuel from Essar refinery.
"While a stock of aviation fuel is stored on site, as a precaution, airlines have been advised to carry additional fuel wherever possible.
"Although this is a short term problem, until it is resolved, airlines might not be able to refuel aircraft at Manchester airport which is why contingency plans have been put in place.
"Experts from the fuel companies, the airport and airlines are working hard to resolve the issue and minimise any impact.
"While we do not expect this to cause widespread disruption, it is possible that some airlines may decide to cancel, divert or delay a small number of flights from 6pm today into tomorrow morning.
"We would advise all passengers travelling this evening and tomorrow morning to check their flight status with the airline before coming to the airport.
"We would like to apologise for any disruption that this may cause and assure our customers that everything possible is being done to return operations to normal."
According to the Telegraph, this is the first time the airport has ever run out of fuel, although it came close in 2008.
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