China's aviation industry is taking further measures to lower the rate of delayed flights to satisfy passengers.
For busy routes, especially out of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the flights that are delayed more than four hours should be cancelled earlier, said Li Jiaxiang, minister of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), according to State-owned Xinhua News Agency Saturday.
Li also emphasized the regulations released last year will continue to be enforced. Airlines with too many delayed flights have to have their schedules reviewed.
This is the latest move as the CAAC continues to run a special test project from February 1 to December 31 to reduce flight delays at airports in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
"Passengers on delayed flights can transfer to other flights operated by other carriers due to the agreements among carriers," Shao Fuqiang, spokesman with China Southern, told the Global Times Sunday. The carrier will also make special accommodations for the passengers who cannot leave on the night of their intended flight.
To reduce late flights, the CAAC has published statistics on the delays of domestic airlines and the corresponding flight numbers.
According to the CAAC, from February 10 to April 30 of this year, there were 102 flight delays at Beijing Capital Airport, 93 at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, 45 at Shanghai Pudong Airport, and 41 at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport.
"The most on-time carrier in China is only the 36th best in the world," said Lin Zhijie, an industry analyst from Singapore-based Kent Ridge Consulting, explaining that controlled air space is the main factor contributing to delays.
Li from CAAC said the delays that were the carriers' own fault have decreased after the measures were taken.
But the extreme weather this year has lead to more delays than before.
By Tu Lei