Airlines set to tackle summer disruption

By ZHAO LEI ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-07-26 03:52:51

Chinese airlines say they are ready to handle an expected increase in flight delays and cancellations caused by bad weather or military drills.

"We will inform passengers about any changes to their flights immediately after we hear from the authorities," Zhu Mei, spokeswoman for the nation's flagship carrier Air China, said on Friday.

"The operational team will make necessary adjustments to schedules to reduce the possible impact."

She said the company is unable to predict when, how and to what extent its flights will be affected by weather and military action.

"I suggest passengers keep a close eye on their mobile phones, as we will send them text messages on changes."

The Civil Aviation Administration of China said on Thursday that factors including stormy weather and routine military exercises are expected to affect flights to and from cities including Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Zhengzhou and Qingdao in coming weeks.

Some flights in these regions will be delayed or even canceled.

The administration said it will open temporary routes and help airlines reroute flights during this period. It also urged carriers to reduce flights to and from these regions.

Airports in cities that are affected will suspend services for business jets, while charter flights and temporarily added services will not be allowed to use these airports.

Zou Yingping, a publicity officer at China Southern Airlines, said it will rearrange routes and capacity where necessary.

Airlines pay more attention to punctuality in summer because their on-time performances are usually affected by bad weather, Zou added.

On Monday, nearly 200 flights at Shanghai's two airports were canceled and about 120 others were delayed for more than two hours.

Earlier reports said a host of airports in central and eastern China would be affected by military drills for nearly a month, but this has not been confirmed by the People's Liberation Army.

Yan Xiaodong, chief engineer at North China Air Traffic Control Bureau, told National Business Daily that the notice by the Civil Aviation Administration of China is a good sign that it has become more open in dealing with information about military activities.

Such a move was rare in the past, Yan said, adding that he hoped the administration could give more details to the public and prepare contingency measures.

Most Popular