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February 12, 2019

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Passengers and flights soar at city airports

Shanghai’s two airports handled a record number of flights and passengers during the Spring Festival holiday.

The Pudong and Hongqiao international airports handled a total of 2.36 million passengers between February 4 and 10, a 9.9 percent increase, Shanghai Airport Authority said yesterday.

Some 2,100 domestic and international flights took off and landed at both airports every day, a 4.3 percent increase.

Despite the huge turnover, the punctuality rate at both airports reached about 90 percent.

To cope with the snow and frost from Friday, the airports conducted over 150 rounds of snow and ice removal from aircraft and runways.

The on-time rate was ensured and no passenger was stranded at either airport during the bad weather.

Parking garages at Pudong also handled a record number of vehicles after the airport scheduled 20 overnight flights each day as part of a nationwide trial for the travel rush.

“Most passengers on the overnight flights chose to drive to the airport and park in the parking lots,” said Cao Liu, general manager of the transport support department at the airport.

A second-level emergency plan was triggered at Pudong between February 5 and 10 when nearly all of 5,300 parking lots at the P1 and P2 parking buildings became occupied.

Airport staff directed drivers to park at the P0 and P4 garages, which are about 1km away from the terminals.

Travelers then took free shuttle buses to the terminal buildings.

On Friday, all four parking garages were near capacity, according to the airport authority.

A total of 56 shuttle buses were arranged, to ferry 162,700 passengers between the remote parking areas and the terminal buildings during the holiday, a 10.4 percent increase.

In total the two international airports are expected to handle 13.2 million passengers during the peak travel period which will last until March 1, around 5 percent more than last year.

The Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines alone has handled nearly a million passengers, a 10 percent increase.

Popular outbound destinations included Bangkok, Colombo, Maldives, Osaka, Sapporo, Singapore, and Tokyo, along with long-haul routes to North American and European cities. The load factor on these routes reached 95 percent on average, according to the airline.

A peak of returning passengers is expected on February 19, Lantern Festival.

Tickets on many popular domestic routes are almost sold out, the carrier said.




 

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