Hundreds of Shanghai flights delayed or cancelled after thunderstorms strike region
Travellers face serious disruption as a result of bad weather in the region
More than 400 flights have been cancelled and nearly 100 others delayed at Shanghai’s two airports on Friday after thunder and heavy rain hit the coastal city.
The Chinese air traffic controller issued an orange alert warning of serious cancellations and delays at Pudong and Hongqiao airports, estimating that take-off and landing capacities would be reduced by 60 per cent.
Pudong International Airport had cancelled 227 departing flights and 123 inbound flights by 9pm, while a further 49 flights had been delayed, Shanghai Airport Authority announced on its Weibo account.
At the smaller Hongqiao International Airport, which is mainly used for domestic flights, 195 flights had been cancelled, with 27 others delayed.
The impact of the weather at the two airports was expected to continue until 10pm, according to Air Traffic Information.
The airport in the nearby city of Nanjing was also affected by the thunder and rain, losing around 30 per cent of its capacity.
Airports in the Yangtze River Delta saw the worst delays across the country, according to data analysis firm VariFlight.com. A total of 370 flights had been delayed as of 4pm on Friday.
Many travellers said they faced serious disruption to their travel plans as a result.
“It’s the first time my flight has been cancelled,” said a shopping agent from Zhuhai in the southern province of Guangdong, who was due to fly to the city to catch a connecting flight to Seoul for a business trip.
The agent said their only option now was to take the high-speed railway and hope they could still catch their flight.
Another Weibo user said her flight from Shanghai Pudong to Xian had been delayed for five hours. “It was due to take off at 8.30am. I was notified of the delay, and then a cancellation, but it finally took off at 1.30pm … My mood was like riding a roller coaster.”