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February 20, 2013

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Delays hit hundreds of flights

SOME 40 flights were canceled and 350 delayed at Shanghai's two airports yesterday because of snow and sleet across south China.

Some 110 outbound flights and 80 inbound flights were delayed at the Hongqiao International Airport, while over 160 were delayed at Pudong International Airport, according to the airport authority.

Most delayed flights were to Beijing, as well as Nanjing in east China's Jiangsu Province, Kunming in the southwest Yunnan Province and Guangzhou in the southern Guangdong Province.

"Workers from airlines were busy clearing snow from the runways at the Pudong airport in the morning," said Hu Wei, manager on duty at the operation headquarters of the airport.

Aircraft at Pudong were able to take off about 7:30am.

The Hongqiao airport was affected more severely as only six of 40 scheduled flights managed to take off before 8am.

The airport authority dispatched 50 workers and 30 vehicles to remove snow on the runway, the airport authority said. Most aircraft were finally able to take off as the heaviest snow began to taper off.

Delays rippled through the morning at the Hongqiao airport until 10am, but there were no reports of passengers being stranded for a lengthy time.

The airport authority also said on its microblog that all aircraft had to wait until snow and ice were removed from runways.

"The snow and ice could make aircraft wheels skid and cause great danger during takeoff and landing," the airport authority said.

The flights returned to normal in the afternoon at both airports, the authority said.


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