Aviation fuel supply problems at Manchester airport have thrown travel plans for thousands of air passengers into chaos.
A Manchester airport spokesman said the airport will "probably run out of fuel" by 18:00 BST due to a "short term" fuel supply problem from the Essar refinery at Stanlow near Ellesmere Port on Merseyside.
The spokesman said some airlines may not be able to refuel there, and that some might decide to cancel, divert or delay some flights from this evening into Thursday morning.
The airport advised passengers travelling tonight and tomorrow morning to check with their airlines before going to the airport.
"Today the airline fuel supply companies operating at Manchester airport are experiencing temporary problems with their supply of aviation fuel from Essar refinery," said an airport spokesman.
"While a stock of aviation fuel is stored on site, as a precaution, airlines have been advised to carry additional fuel wherever possible."
Manchester airport uses around three million litres of aviation fuel per day, the equivalent of 79 road tankers which carry approximately 38,000 litres per vehicle.
The fuel supply comes from the refinery via a pipeline which is capable of pumping 250,000 litres an hour.
The fuel storage centre at Manchester airport is operated by MASHCo - a joint venture between Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP and Q8.
The oil companies are contracted directly directly by airlines to supply aircraft fuel via MASHCo.
Shell sold Essar refinery to energy company Essary Energy last year.
"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," the spokesman added.
"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."