Space launch forces French jumbo to make refueling stop

HAMBURG Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:13pm EDT

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HAMBURG (Reuters) - An Air France A380 jumbo jet flying from Shanghai to Paris was forced to make an unscheduled landing at Hamburg airport on Wednesday after a space mission launch caused it to run low on fuel, the airline said.

Flight AF111 had to make a diversion after airspace over Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan was closed for at least 30 minutes for the launch of a Russian Soyuz space rocket, an Air France spokeswoman said.

As the journey was then longer than expected, the pilot decided to make a stop to refuel at Hamburg to ensure he could land in Paris with enough fuel to meet regulatory requirements.

Hamburg Airport confirmed the Airbus A380 landed at just after 0500 GMT and took off again around 90 minutes later after refueling.

The Soyuz rocket carrying two Russian astronauts and one American to the International Space Station blasted off from a launch pad in Kazakhstan early on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Jan Schwartz and Reuters TV, additional reporting by Alexei Anishchuk in Moscow,; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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