[photopress:air_beijing_airport.jpg,full,alignright]A total of 336 domestic flights to and from Beijing will be scrapped from August 15 to October 27. This is because of the poor on time performance due, mainly, to a shortage of technicians and other professionals and the limited capacity of domestic airports. It will lower the number of peak hour flights from more than 60 to 58 per hour.
In a second phase of cuts, from November to March, the number of peak hour flights at Beijing will fall to 55 per hour.
According to the CAAC, most flights to be canceled are operated by the nation’s three leading carriers: Air China, China Southern and China Eastern.
Airlines had been warned over almost 120 flights since the CAAC launched a campaign in June to reduce delays at Beijing airport. The CAAC named the 20 most-delayed flights every 10 days. Flights were cancelled after two warnings.
The campaign should prevent long delays next August when Beijing hosts the 2008 Olympic Games.
The CAAC saw the flight cuts as concrete steps to cool the overheating development of air transport. Sources said 18 airports, including Beijing, Shanghai Hongqiao, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Dalian and Urumqi, had been operating at their maximum capacity.
China’s air transport is growing at an average annual rate of more than 16%. Beijing handled 26 million passengers in the first half of 2007, and the number for the whole year will far exceed its designed annual capacity of 35 million passengers.
Source: People’s Daily Online
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