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Airports gradually return to normal
From:Shanghai Daily  |  2019-08-12 07:29

Operations at Shanghai’s two major airports were gradually returning to normal yesterday after almost 2,000 flights were canceled due to typhoon Lekima.

As the storm moved away to the north, Pudong and Hongqiao international airports were coping with large numbers of stranded passengers.

Lingering gales and rain forced cancellation of 150 domestic and international flights and caused 150 flight delays at the airports yesterday morning. Pudong International Airport suffered the heaviest problems, with 83 percent of takeoffs and landings delayed by an average two hours as of 10am yesterday.

Large crowds of passengers were waiting in front of ticket counters to buy available tickets. That was in sharp contrast with the situation on Saturday, when almost all counters were closed and passengers stuck at the airport were milling around vainly watching flight information boards.

“I booked a ticket and rushed to Pudong airport right after the rain and gales eased,” said a local passenger surnamed Zhu.

Her flight, Spring Airlines 9C8577, was scheduled to take off on Saturday to Saga in Japan, but was canceled along with all inbound and outbound flights of the budget carrier. She switched to an available flight to Fukuoka yesterday.

The airport authority has opened all the security check channels at terminals T1 and T2 at Pudong to reduce the waiting time, according to the airport.

Hongqiao airport had 62 canceled flights and 16 delayed flights at about 10am. The airport authority lowered a flight delay alert at the airport yesterday morning.

The city’s two airports operated only 100 inbound and outbound flights on Saturday. More than 90 percent of flights were canceled.

On Saturday, air traffic control issued the top-level red alert for flight delays at both airports, with expected capacity reduced by 70 percent as of 3pm. The alert was lifted early yesterday, with capacity reduced to 50 percent.

Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines secured 32 aircraft berthed at the city’s two airports overnight. Heavy cargos were placed inside cabins to prevent aircraft from the effects of high winds.