City airports handle record number of turnovers on holiday

Yang Jian
Shanghai's two airports have handled a record number of flights and passengers during the weeklong Spring Festival holiday.
Yang Jian

Shanghai’s two airports have handled a record number of flights and passengers during the weeklong Spring Festival holiday.

The Pudong and Hongqiao international airports handled a total of 2.36 million passengers between February 4 and 10, a 9.9 percent increase on year, the Shanghai Airport Authority said on Monday.

Some 2,100 domestic and international flights took off and landed at both airports every day, a 4.3 percent increase on year.

Despite the huge turnovers, the punctuality rate at both airports reached about 90 percent during the holiday.

To cope with the snow and frost weather beginning from February 8, the airport authority conducted over 150 rounds of campaigns at both airports to remove snow and ice on aircraft and runways. The on-time rate has thus been ensured and no passenger has been stranded at the airports during the bad weather, the airport authority said.

Parking garages at the Pudong airport also handled a record number of vehicles during the holiday after the airport has scheduled 20 overnight flights each day as part of a nationwide trial for the travel rush.

"Most passengers on the overnight flights choose to drive to the airport and park their vehicles in the parking lots," said Cao Liu, general manager with the transport support department of the airport.

A second-level emergency plan was triggered at the Pudong airport between February 5 and 10 after nearly all of the over 5,300 parking lots at the P1 and P2 parking buildings became occupied.

Under the emergency plan, airport staff guided drivers to park at the P0 and P4 garages, which are about 1km away from the terminals. Travelers can then take a free shuttle bus to the terminal buildings.

During the peak day on February 8, all the four parking garages have been nearly full, according to the airport authority.

A total of 56 shuttle buses have been arranged, which shuttled 162,700 passengers between the remote parking areas and the terminal buildings during the holiday, a 10.4 percent increase on year.

In total Shanghai's two international airports are expected to handle 13.2 million passengers during the Spring Festival peak travel period which will last until March 1, a 5 percent increase over last year.

The Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines alone has handled nearly a million passengers during the holiday, a 10 percent increase on year.

Popular outbound destinations include Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo, Bangkok, Singapore, Colombo and Maldives, along with long-haul routes to North American and European cities. The load factor on these routes reached 95 percent on average during the holiday, according to China Eastern.

A travel peak of returning passengers is expected on February 19, which is the Lantern Festival. Tickets on many popular domestic routes have almost been sold out, the carrier said.

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