Shanghai suffers massive flight delays due to inclement weather
Nearly 600 flights have been canceled and about 100 others were delayed at Shanghai’s two airports on Friday due to thunder and heavy rain.
Both Pudong and Hongqiao international airports suffered great impacts from the storms which began last night. A total of 195 departing and arriving flights have been canceled at the Hongqiao airport, along with another 15 arriving flights that had to divert to land at nearby airports, the Shanghai Airport Authority said. Four flights have been delayed for over four hours, while 18 have delayed for more than two hours as of 9pm.
Pudong International Airport has canceled 277 departing and 123 arriving flights, and nearly 100 flights in total were delayed, the authority said. Seventeen flights at the airport have been delayed for over four hours, while another 32 have been delayed for more than two hours.
The air traffic controller issued a yellow alert Friday morning and forecast takeoff and landing capacities at Pudong and Hongqiao airports would be reduced by 20 percent.
The alert was later upgraded to orange, meaning that the capacity of both airports would be cut by 60 percent.
Nearly all flights were cancelled or delayed for hours at the Hongqiao airport around 2pm. Long lines of passengers were waiting at the airlines' counters to change or cancel their flights. The tickets of high-speed railways to Beijing, Guangzhou and neighboring cities have been sold out in the afternoon.
The impact of Friday's delays are expected to run through until 10pm, according to the air traffic controller of the East China Regional Administration under the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
The city's weather forecaster has predicted the continuous rainfall will stop on Saturday, when the massive flight cancellations and delays are expected to end, but regional showers will still hit the city over the weekend.