French airlines are turning to Manchester airport to fuel up.

Airport news for Manchester,Flights on 21/10/2010.

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A shortage of fuel in France caused by widespread public demonstrations has led to planes from France having to stop at Manchester Airport. The first aircraft to be accepted by bosses at Manchester were two planes diverted from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport two days ago.

Some of the biggest refineries in France shutdown after workers went on strike there. In other parts of the country, street protests by members of the public and truck drivers blocked access to refineries. Industrial action has been spreading across France as workers protest plans by the Sarkozy government to raise retirement ages.

Politicians there have been trying to play down the effects of the strike but authorities were forced to tap the country’s 30-day strategic fuel reserves as supplies ran low. Manchester Airport said the two long-haul flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle were allowed to land to top up their fuel. The planes, an Air Transat A310 heading for Montreal and an Air France A330 going to Seattle made the brief stops before continuing to their destinations.

An airport spokesperson declined to say how much the airlines were charged and insisted this would have no effect on Manchester Airport’s normal operations. Air France confirmed that some flights had departed without enough fuel to reach their destinations, necessitating fuel stops en-route.

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