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April 20, 2012

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Fog plays havoc at airports as flights delayed, canceled

MORE than 200 flights were delayed or canceled at Shanghai's two airports yesterday due to fog and clouds, portending tougher times for passengers as flight delays occur often in the spring and summer.

Heavy fog enveloped Shanghai's Pudong International Airport from 4:30am and decreased visibility to 300 meters, the city's weather authority said. Visibility increased after 8:30am but thick clouds were still covering the airport.

A total of 86 domestic and 40 international flights departing from Pudong and Hongqiao airports had been delayed as of yesterday afternoon, while over 100 domestic and international arrivals were also delayed, the airport authority said.

Some 17 departing flights and 14 arriving flights were canceled.

About 30 international flights including those from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Phuket, Thailand were forced to change and land at Hongqiao International Airport where fog was less serious than at Pudong, the authority said.

"Many departing flights were forced to wait on runways because of the cloudy weather, especially at the Pudong airport," Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines said.

The carriers arranged shuttle buses to take passengers from the Hongqiao airport to Pudong for connecting flights.

China Southern Airlines also issued a delay alert in the morning as more than 12 of its flights from Pudong were delayed.

Severe weather will occur in the coming summer, causing more flight delays, the airlines warned yesterday.

Hundreds of flights were delayed or canceled because of thunderstorms yesterday and on Wednesday in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. A total of 173 flights were canceled and 60 flights were delayed for over an hour at Beijing Capital International Airport on Wednesday.


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