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November 11, 2009

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Flights to Beijing cut by heavy weather

SIX flights between Shanghai and Beijing were canceled yesterday and nearly all the rest were delayed because of a snowstorm around the nation's capital.

Across Shanghai, heavy wind and rain jammed traffic and soaked pedestrians.

The worst effects of the weather were on air travel, however. Airport authorities didn't release specific figures, but they did say that at least 40 flights between Shanghai and Beijing were delayed in addition to the handful canceled.

Only one plane made it from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport between 8:45am and 11am. China Eastern Airlines even stopped selling tickets for the route at 11am.

"We are not sure when the flights will return to normal," a Hongqiao airport official said yesterday. "Even if we sell tickets, the flights may be canceled."

The average flight delay was about four hours, officials said.

Wind gusts hit 61 kilometers per hour in the downtown and 88 in costal areas.

Drizzle and overcast skies were forecast for today, with heavier rain returning tomorrow and lasting to the weekend. Today's high should be around 19 degrees Celsius and the low 15 degrees.


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