Beijing and Shanghai’s airports now hold the dubious distinction of being the most delayed in the world.
People’s Daily shares a report from FlightStats which indicates that a mere 18.3 percent of the flights leaving from Beijing did so on schedule. Pudong International Airport in Shanghai was almost as bad, holding a similarly poor record of 28.72 percent. FlightStats only considered the flight to be on time if the flight arrives or departs within 15 minutes of its original schedule.
Numerous reasons account for these delays, such as bad weather and a high number of aircraft attempting to fly. Experts are claiming that it is the military that is crowding the airspace in China, as 80 percent of all planes flying in China’s skies are reported to belong to the PLA. A senior executive from Hanian Airlines told SCMP that he is frustrated with the military’s stubbornness: “I am afraid that until a tragedy happens, the military will never be convinced to free up the airspace.”
Zou Jianjun from the Civil Aviation Management Institute of China argued that the airports themselves are a source of the problem because they are unable to keep up with the growing size of commercial aircraft.
Impatient passengers are quickly losing their tolerance for delays. Airports in Shanghai and Beijing saw people become unruly over delays which included all out brawls in Hongqiao Airport and similar scences in the capital.
Last year 81,929,689 passengers travelled through Beijing Capital International Airport, making it the second busiest airport in the world. It is also the world’s second largest airport and despite the numerous delays, Beijing was named the fifth best airport in the world in 2013. Pudong International Airport handled 44,860,164 people in 2012 and was ranked the 59th on the same airport ranking list.
[Image credit: @sheilaz413]