Manchester Airport runs out of aviation fuel

Manchester Airport The airport uses about three million litres of aviation fuel each day

Aviation fuel has been sent to Manchester Airport after it ran out of supplies.

A spokesman for the Essar refinery in Cheshire, which pipes fuel to the airport, said production was "now back to normal".

Stocks are expected to return to average levels by Thursday morning, an airport spokesman said.

The airport said a "handful of flights, perhaps five", might be delayed by up to an hour in the morning.

A spokesman said: "The fuel supply from the refinery came back on at 5.30pm, it takes four hours for the fuel to get from the refinery to the airport, and it will then need time to settle.

"It will be released on to the airfield to the hydrants at 8.30am."


Jonathan Sumberg, BBC transport journalist

The majority of airlines can cope with this delay in fuel. How?

A flight leaving Majorca, for instance, would fill up double the amount it needed to get it to Manchester and back to Majorca.

Obviously this uses more fuel overall, due to the increased weight of the plane. Equally, a plane leaving the United States would put in enough fuel to fly to Manchester and then on to another UK airport where it could refuel before returning to the US.

Another thing to note is it takes four hours to get from the refinery to the airport, and then airlines have to let it "settle" for a further two hours before it can be used.

The airport uses about three million litres of aviation fuel a day, with the majority of supplies coming from the refinery at Stanlow near Ellesmere Port.

A spokesman for the refinery said the shortage was caused by "production issues".

Russell Craig, head of communications for Manchester Airport, said: "We don't want this to happen, but equally we aren't prepared to take any risks with fuel and with aircraft safety."

He added: "We came close to running out in April 2008, when we saw a similar issue with the supply but fortunately at the 11th hour the fuel was able to start moving again."

Passengers planning to fly from the airport have been told to check with their airline before they leave.

Shell sold the refinery to Indian company Essar Energy last year.

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