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January 15, 2014

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Airports to handle 70,000 flights at holiday

Shanghai’s two airports are expected to handle 9.3 million passenger trips during the Spring Festival rush this year, up 7.3 percent on 2013, the airport authorities said yesterday.

A total of 70,000 flights are set to depart from and arrive at the city’s two airports during the 40-day rush between tomorrow and February 24.

This is a 5 percent increase in flights compared to last year.

The Hongqiao International Airport is set to see some 3.8 million passenger trips and the Pudong International Airport 5.5 million.

An outbound peak is expected during the week of January 30 — the Chinese New Year’s Eve — while the busiest inbound period will be the week after February 3.

All security check channels will be open at peak period to minimize delays, said officials.

Across the country, a total of 3.6 billion trips are expected to be made during the Chinese New Year holiday, officials said yesterday, as people head home in the “world’s largest human migration.”

Officials anticipate 200 million more journeys will be made than last year and warn that there will be pressure on the transport system, with some travelers, as usual, struggling to get tickets.

The Spring Festival is the most important traditional holiday in China and often the only chance in the year for the country’s large pool of migrant workers to go home to see their children and parents.

Students also head home, and it’s a peak tourism period as travelers take advantage of the holiday.

“Our current transport capacity cannot fully meet the peak demand during the Spring Festival, despite the rapid development of infrastructure in recent years,” said Lian Weiliang, a vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

“It will still be difficult to get a ticket in some areas,” added Lian.

Most journeys — 3.2 billion — are set to be by road, up 5.8 percent on last year, said a transport ministry spokesman.

The railway system is set to see 258 million passenger trips, up 7.9 percent on a year ago, said Hu Yadong, a vice general manager of the newly established China Railway Corp.



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