(Yicai) Feb. 5 -- Many flights in China have been delayed or canceled because of rain, snow, and freezing weather since the lunar new year travel period began on Jan. 26.
The cancellation rate at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport was 29 percent early today, with a flight delay rate of 74 percent, data from flight data platform DAST showed. The airport also closed two runways and canceled more than 300 flights yesterday morning, Yicai learned.
The cancellation rates at Hefei Xinqiao International Airport in Anhui province and at Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport in Henan province were 10.4 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively, according to DAST. Their flight delay rates were running at 43 percent and 38 percent.
China Southern Airlines apologized on its Weibo account yesterday for big delays at Wuhan’s international airport and the grounding of 105 flights.
Since Jan. 31, central and eastern parts of the country entered the longest and most extensive rain, snow, and freezing weather period since the beginning of winter, according to the National Meteorological Centre. Hunan, Hubei, Anhui, and Henan provinces have the highest freezing rain and heavy snowfall concentration.
Trains were also affected by the bad weather. To ensure the safety of passengers, Wuhan Railway said it had today suspended 145 trains from and to the city.
China is in the peak travel period when people return to their hometowns before the Chinese New Year holiday, known as the Spring Festival in the country and running from Feb. 10 to 17 this year. In the first week, the number of passenger flights rose 6.6 percent from the pre-pandemic level of 2019, while the ranks of travelers jumped 17.5 percent, DAST’s figures showed.
More people are also traveling by train, with their number surging 70 percent to 106.5 million in the first nine days of the travel period from a year earlier, with the figure up 21 percent from the level of 2019.
Editor: Martin Kadiev