Heavy rainfall coupled with thunder and lightening has led to the cancellation of more than 240 flights and delays to 400 others at Shanghai’s two main airports.
According to the Air Traffic Management Bureau of the East China Civil Aviation Administration of China, the flight capacity of the two airports was cut by about 60 percent yesterday.
Shanghai Daily reports that Hongqiao Airport was the worst affected, with 140 flights cancelled and 250 delayed. While Pudong fared slightly better, the weather still resulted in the cancellation of 100 flights and 150 delays.
The massive downpours that drenched the city yesterday are set to continue through Monday, with up to 80 millimeters of rain expected to fall between last night and today, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.
China Eastern and China Southern, the two largest airlines based at the airports, issued notices advising all passengers to check the status of their flights before travelling to the airport.
The storms which hit Shanghai throughout the summer months are one of the reasons why the city’s airports were the worst in the world during 2014 for on-time performance. Only 37.17 percent of flights left Hongqiao on-time and 37.26 percent from Pudong.
Poor management is, however, the chief culprit behind the frequent delays. Earlier this year the South China Morning Post reported that management practices at China’s airports were not keeping 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,” said Zou Jianjun, who works at the Civil Aviation Management Institute of China. “Even if a small mistake happens at any of these major airports, it’s quite possible that flights in other cities will be affected.”
By Dominic Jackson