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Published on Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Flights from Lisbon and Faro hit by fuel shortages

A nationwide strike in Portugal has led to fuel shortages at Lisbon, Porto and Faro airports, which is severely disrupting flights.

The strike by fuel tanker drivers is also affecting the supply to petrol stations across Portugal, with many running out of fuel. Lisbon airport is warning passengers that there might be changes to their flights due to a lack of fuel. It said: "Due to a national strike, aircraft fuel supply was interrupted, so there might be changes to your flight. For further details, please contact you your airline."

British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair all suffered delays to flights leaving Lisbon on Tuesday afternoon and again this morning. An easyJet flight from Faro was also delayed yesterday, by nearly three hours. An easyJet spokesperson told the Independent that flights were being forced to make fuel stops en route.

Portugal's economy minister Pedro Siza Vieira said: "At both airports, where fuel supply wasn't ensured, we have reached critical levels of fuel reserves for aircraft refuelling."

Another easyJet flight was delayed overnight in Lisbon due to a lack of fuel and a BA flight to from Lisbon to Heathrow was delayed this morning.

In a statement, easyJet said:  "Due to strike action in Portugal affecting fuel availability easyJet, like all airlines, is experiencing some disruption to its flying programme todayand four flights between the UK and Portugal will be required to make fuel stops on route.

"We are doing everything possible to minimise the disruption for our customers and whilst this is outside of our control, we would like to apologise to customers for any inconvenience experienced as a result of the strike action.

"We advise all customers due to travel to or from Portugal to check the status of their flights on our Flight Tracker for the latest information."

EasyJet said Faro, gateway to Portugal's Algarve region, was one of its most popular destinations this Easter, which is expected to be its busiest ever. The airline said it was expecting to carry a total of 1.4 million passengers across all of its flights from April 18 to 22.

In an update to its travel advice, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "Strike action by Portuguese fuel tanker drivers since 16 April may cause disruption to flights at Lisbon and Faro airports.

"If you're travelling from Lisbon or Faro airport over the coming days, check with your airline for possible delays; travel within Portugal may also be affected by the strike."

The Portuguese government has ordered fuel truck drivers to return to work immediately but the National Union of Dangerous Goods Drivers says the strike will continue until its demands are met.


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