A China Northern Airlines flight from Beijing to Dalian crashed on May 7, killing all 112 passengers and crew. The McDonnell Douglas MD-82 jet crashed into the sea about 10km from Dalian after the pilot reported a fire in the cabin. It was the second fatal air accident involving a mainland Chinese plane in less than a month. In April, an Air China Boeing 767 crashed into a mountain in South Korea, killing 122 people. In late May, a China Airlines jet with 225 people on board broke up in mid-air on its flight from Taipei to Hong. No survivors were found.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) imposed a ban on late-night domestic flights and ordered an inspection of all pilots and aircraft. Families of the victims of the Dalian crash were offered compensation amounting to nearly Yn200,000 each, said China Northern. The head of the CAAC retired following the two crashes. Liu Jianfeng was replaced by his deputy, Yang Yuanyuan, a former China Southern Airlines pilot and later an official with the administration’s publicity department. Liu gave no reason for his departure, apart from saying that it was a State Council decision. Analysts believe Liu had taken responsibility for the crashes.
Mass exodus for World Cup By late May, some 25,000 Chinese football fans had bought tickets for the World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea, according to state media. In addition, some fans who are unable to afford tour packages are hoping to purchase tickets at bargain prices at the last minute.
China’s first match is against Costa Rica on June 4. The finals will attract the largestever exodus of Chinese tourists since the country allowed ordinary citizens to travel abroad on large numbers in the early 1990s.