Widespread flight delays are expected in China today after several airports announced they will not allow landings and take-offs this afternoon because of the busy air space, Beijing News reported on Tuesday.
The Air Traffic Management Bureau under Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issued large-area flight delay warnings on Monday night. Airports at Linyi in Shandong province and Xuzhou, Lianyungang, Huaian, Yancheng, Changzhou, Yangzhou and Nantung, all in Jiangsu province, will ban landings between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. today.
Meanwhile, air traffic at Shanghai’s Hongqiao and Pudong airports is expected to drop by 75 percent during the period. Also, several flights from Nanchang, Ganzhou, Jiujiang and several other cities in Jiangxi province will not be allowed to take off.
Sources said flight delays in the past few days were due to various factors including thunderstorms. The CAAC has stopped taking applications for temporary flight plans, and asked airline companies to reduce the number of flights in several air routes.
The delays may also have been caused by military exercises, the sources said. The People’s Liberation Army will start live-fire drills in southeastern coastal regions today, according to the news bureau of defense ministry.
As flight delays have been going on for quite some time, many passengers have turned to rail transport. According to Tencent Finance News, it has been difficult to secure tickets for high-speed rail travel between Shanghai and Beijing.
Airline companies have been forced to cancel hundreds of flights at the peak of the summer season since early July, and some have been losing more than 10 million yuan (US$1.61 million) daily as a result.
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