PROMISES made by China's state-run airline to improve safety have vanished in the face of a spate of air crashes this year, a mainland newspaper said. The Beijing-based Legal Daily's comment followed another accident last week in which a flight crashed while landing at Fuzhou airport, killing two people and injuring about a dozen. Frequent air disasters have cast a shadow over the aviation safety of the country, the paper said. ''It has also turned promises made by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to 'make the year 1993 into the Year of Safety' into bubbles,'' it said. The newspaper said the increase in flights was the major cause of the spate of air disasters. Under the expanding market economy, it said the increased demand for air services had exposed the backwardness of mainland aviation facilities. At the end of last year China had 500 air routes covering more than 900,000 kilometres. That is 25 times the total number of kilometres covered in 1978. Although more sophisticated and advanced aircrafts have been purchased, the newspaper said air traffic control remained backward. The newspaper also said the aviation industry was plagued by lax discipline, loopholes in regulations and inadequate safety measures. It cited criticisms made by Vice-Premier Zhu Rongji about the poor management. ''We will commit a crime against the people if we do not impose strict demands and deal with the problem seriously,'' the paper quoted Mr Zhu as saying.