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Spring Festival travel rush gets started

By Zhao Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2015-02-05 07:40

 Spring Festival travel rush gets started

Travelers crowd the waiting room at Beijing West Railway Station on Wednesday, the beginning of the 40-day Spring Festival rush. Zou Hong / China Daily

Transportation sector ramps up to maximum capacity to manage 40 days of heavy demand

The country's transportation sectors geared up on Wednesday to full capacity to handle the annual surge of travelers at the start of the 40-day Spring Festival holiday rush.

More than 1 million trips were made via 12,500 airline flights on the first day of the holiday period, known as chunyun, which will run until March 16, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

China Railway Corp, operator of the country's trains, said it handled 6 million trips on Wednesday.

Chinese tradition holds that people should return home and spend Spring Festival with their families. The observance creates an annual travel rush that may be the largest recurrent human migration in the world. The Spring Festival feast day falls on Feb 19 this year.

During the travel peak last year, Chinese passengers made more than 3.6 billion trips. Among them, about 3.3 billion were made by road, 266 million by rail, 44 million by air and 42 million by ship.

China Railway Corp expects that about 289 million trips will be made during the 40-day chunyun this year, 26 million more than last year. An average 7 million trips will be made by train every day during the period.

The company said it plans to run 3,063 pairs of trains during the coming travel peak, an increase of 335 pairs from last year.

Air China, the country's flagship airline, has planned for nearly 44,900 flights during this year's chunyun, a 10 percent increase year-on-year, Xu Yanchun, the company's head of publicity, said on Wednesday.

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