Snow Storm Delays Hundreds of Flights in Shanghai and Hangzhou

Heavy snowfall in East, South, and Central China created widespread transportation problems, slowing, and in some case shutting down air, rail, and bus services. Among major airports affected by the inclement weather are Shanghai Pudong Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport, as well as airports in Wuhan, Hefei, Nanchang, Changsha, Ningbo, Nanjing and Wuxi.

By Thursday evening, about 200 flights were delayed at Shanghai Pudong and Shanghai Hongqiao airports, stranding approximately 30,000 passengers. At Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport, about 90 flights were cancelled. A total of 10 airports were closed temporarily and flight services have been irregular.

The Yangzi River valley, which is largely the region affected by the current bad weather, sees snow only infrequently. In Hangzhou, after two days of snowing, some parts of the city has an accumulation of over 15 cm (6 inches).

The snow has also affected the high-speed train between Wuhan and Guangzhou. Trains are still in operation but at reduced speeds, resulting in delays and backups.

Right now transporters in China, land and air, are officially in the Spring Festival holiday season when a large number of Chinese travel to join their families to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The Spring Festival falls on February 2 this year, but traditionally traffic is becomes heavier two weeks or so before and after the new year day.