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June 28, 2013

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Airports brace for summer delays

SHANGHAI'S two airports will likely see flight delays between July and September because of thunderstorms, rains and high temperatures, and even typhoons, officials from the China Eastern Airlines warned yesterday.

The weather forecasters at the Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao International Airport have served notice on possible extreme weathers this summer that would likely cause flights to be delayed, or diverted to other airports or even canceled, said Dai Weidong, assistant general manager of the operation and control center with the airline.

To deal with the situation, the airlines will inform the passengers when there are delays of over four hours and put up notices on its official website, microblog and WeChat accounts, Dai told reporters yesterday.

"Passengers are being told to leave their mobile phone numbers when they book flight tickets so that the carrier can send short messages to inform them of any delays," said Wang Daming, IT solution manager with the airline.

Passengers can also check with the airline's hotline 95530 for the latest information or send their flight numbers to the hotline through short messages, Wang said.

When large number of passengers are stranded at other airports, the carrier will arrange for standby aircraft to pick them up from neighboring cities.

If any flight is forced to divert to other airports due to bad weather, the pilot will be told to try and land at the city's other airport for the convenience of local passengers, Dai said.

The airline will put in place free shuttle buses to take passengers between the two airports, he added.

Some 2,000 passengers were transferred by shuttle buses between the two airports during a thunderstorm in late April when some 20 flights were diverted to land in the city.


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