Airports suffer flight delays due to inclement weather

Nearly 100 flights have been canceled and about 40 others were delayed at Shanghai's two airports on Thursday due to thunder and heavy rain.

Nearly 100 flights have been canceled and about 40 others were delayed at Shanghai’s two airports on Thursday due to thunder and heavy rain.

Both Pudong and Hongqiao international airports suffered impact from storms which began in the morning. A total of 68 departing and arriving flights have been canceled at Hongqiao airport, while 29 others have been canceled at Pudong airport, the Shanghai Airport Authority said.

Air traffic control issued an orange alert, the second most severe of its four-layer alert system, on Thursday morning and forecast takeoff and landing capacity at Pudong and Hongqiao airports would be reduced by half.

Hongqiao airport received more severe impact from the storm around noon. Long lines of passengers were waiting at airline counters to change or cancel their flights.

At Pudong airport, passenger aircraft waited on taxiways.

“It seems too difficult to take a flight home from Shanghai in summer,” said Ou Weiwei, a passenger with a China Eastern Airlines flight to her hometown in Fuzhou in southeast Fujian Province. Her flight, MU5505, was scheduled to take off before 9am, but still hadn't departed by 12:30pm.

The impact of Thursday's delays is expected to run through until 6pm, according to the air traffic controller of the East China Regional Administration under the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Local Spring Airlines announced they would cancel 20 flights taking off or landing at the city’s airports on Thursday, mostly to south and east Chinese cities.

The city's weather forecaster has predicted the continuous rainfall will stop on Sunday, when flight cancellations and delays are expected to lessen, but regional showers will still hit the city over the weekend.


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