Chinese airports and airlines were the worst for punctuality last year, according to US-based aviation monitoring company FlightStats.
Among the world’s 61 largest airports, the seven worst performers for on-time departures were all mainland Chinese airports. Unfortunately for those of us living in Shanghai, Hongqiao and Pudong airports took the bottom two spots. Only 37.17 percent of flights left Shanghai Hongqiao on-time and 37.26 percent from Pudong.
Shanghai’s airports were closely followed at the bottom of the list by Hangzhou Xiaoshan, Shenzhen Baoan, Guangzhou Baiyun, Chongqing Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport. While much further up the list, even Hong Kong International Airport only managed 62.25 percent punctuality.
Much to China’s annoyance, its more organised neighbor Japan did incredibly well in the survey, with four Japanese airports, including Itami (94.56), Okayama (94.32), Sendai (93.89) and Kochi (93.87) taking the top four places respectively.
In comments made to the South China Morning Post, Zou Jianjun, who works at the Civil Aviation Management Institute of China, said that the management practices at China’s facilities had not kept pace with the increasing demand for air travel.
“Flight lines are too centralized in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and it’s a big challenge for their managers,” he said. “Even if a small mistake happens at any of these major airports, it’s quite possible that flights in other cities will be affected.”
The Civil Aviation Data Analysis website said that a mere 65 percent of flights taking off in the mainland left on time in 2014, and that if all the extra time that passengers and crew spent waiting on the tarmac was added up, it would total around 232 years.
Surprisingly, the results of the survey seem to indicate that things are improving at China’s airports. In a previous survey taken by FlightStats during 2013, Pudong only recorded 28.72 percent on-time performance, while in Beijing only 18.3 percent of flights departed as scheduled.
By Dominic Jackson
[Image via @sheilaz413]