Date
17 August 2017
Scenes like this will be a common sight at 12 airports in eastern and central China as military exercises cause lengthy flight delays until mid-August. Photo: Bloomberg
Scenes like this will be a common sight at 12 airports in eastern and central China as military exercises cause lengthy flight delays until mid-August. Photo: Bloomberg

Flights face long delays as military drills affect 12 airports

Air passengers should brace themselves for long hours of waiting as flights to and from 12 airports in eastern and central China will face delays through mid-August as a result of military exercises, the state broadcaster said on Tuesday.

“The following 12 airports will experience massive delays for 26 days! Fliers, bring snacks and water!” China Central Television said on its weibo account.

From July 20 to August 15, operations at the 12 airports will be affected by high-frequency exercises conducted by other users, CCTV said. The airports are Shanghai Hongqiao, Shanghai Pudong, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Hefei, Jinan, Wuxi, Ningbo, Qingdao, Lianyungang, Zhengzhou and Wuhan.

“All airlines are requested to reduce flights by 25 percent and fliers are expected to face delays,” the broadcaster said. 

Officials at the Civil Aviation Administration of China have confirmed the news, Xinhua news agency reported.

The nation’s military has kicked off live-fire military drills involving 10 land forces from Nanjing, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Beijing, Chengdu and Jinan, the report said. The military maneuvers will last three months.

In the meantime, almost 200 flights were canceled at the Pudong and Hongqiao airports in Shanghai, two of the nation’s busiest airline hubs. Another 120 flights were also delayed for more than two hours, Shanghai Daily reported Tuesday.

However, local officials attributed the massive delays to “air traffic restrictions” while Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines said “the airspace was occupied”, the newspaper said.

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JZ/MY/CG

Freelance journalist

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