Air France asks passengers for refuel cash at Damascus stop

By REUTERS
August 16, 2012 20:21

 
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PARIS - The crew of an Air France plane that was re-routed via Damascus on Wednesday asked passengers how much cash they could stump up after Syrian authorities refused credit card payment to refuel the aircraft, the French airline said on Thursday.

Ultimately it found an alternative arrangement, it said.

The plane that was headed for Beirut on Wednesday night was diverted due to civil unrest in the Lebanese capital and sought to go to Amman, but it was forced to land in Syria due to lack of fuel.

Air France stopped its flights to Damascus in March as fighting in the country escalated, and relations between France and Syria have collapsed since Paris demanded that Syrian President Bashar Assad step down.

"Because of the terrible relations between the two countries and the situation in Syria, the passengers were really worried about landing there," a friend of one of the passengers, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.

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