China’s sharp rise in air travel is compounding chronic flight delays, making flying an ordeal for increasing numbers of airline passengers and threatening to choke growth in the country’s booming aviation sector, according to The Wall Street Journal. China’s big three state-run airlines – Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and China Southern Airlines – were the least punctual of the world’s major carriers last year, according to aviation data firm OAG, with about one-third of their flights arriving late. In the past three years, complaints about air travel rose sevenfold, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said. The agency didn’t break out the most common complaints, but few doubt that delays are high on the list. In China, temporary setbacks caused by factors such as weather, smog, runway repairs and military drills are amplified by the way the country manages its airspace, three quarters of which remains in the hands of the military, and is off-limits to civil airliners.
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