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Flights between Shanghai and Chengdu delayed, cancelled after quake

AT least 10 flights between Shanghai and Chengdu were cancelled while another 30 were delayed today as the Chengdu airport closed temporarily for safety inspections after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake.
Wide range of delays started at around 9am on outbound flights to Chengdu from the Hongqiao and Pudong international airports, about an hour after the earthquake hit Lushan county of Ya'an city in Sichuan Province.
A Juneyao Airlines Flight HO1119 that was due to take off at 9:10am was delayed by over four hours. Other outbound flights of the China Eastern, Shanghai and Sichuan airlines were also delayed by at least two hours.
Inbound flights from the Chengdu Shuangliu Airport to Shanghai's two airports were delayed by about an hour on average.
"The Chengdu airport was closed at around 8:10am for safety inspections on its facilities and runways and was reopened an hour later," the airport authority said.
Since the airport had to spare part of its apron and runways for rescuing flights, many other domestic flights to and from the airport were delayed by at least an hour today, the authority said in a statement.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China launched an emergency response to ask carriers and airports around the country to ensure the flights with rescuers and disaster relief supplies to arrive at the earthquake-hit region on time.
Local China Eastern and the Guangzhou-based China Southern airlines have allocated freight carriers to transport soldiers and suppliers to the quake-hit Ya'an city.
A China Southern's Boeing 737 aircraft transported 105 People's Liberation Army soldiers, six rescuing dogs and eight tons of suppliers from Wuhan in Sichuan's neighboring Hubei Province to the quake-hit area at 3:05pm.
China Eastern allocated six aircrafts with crew members for any emergency uses for the rescue works, the airline said.
Meanwhile, the tourism groups from Shanghai in Sichuan have yet to affected, said Zhang Wu'an, spokesman of the Shanghai Spring Travel Agency.


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