Flights Back on Normal Schedule, Train Travel Heavy
Airports in South, East, and Central China are back on normal schedule after several days of disrupted operations due to severe snow storms. Today, most major airports in the regions carried on smoothly, seeing few delays or cancellations.
Some airports on secondary routes are still digging themselves out of heavy snow. Road conditions remain remain difficult in many areas. Nine national freeways and about 60 provincial highways are reported to have long backed-up traffic, mostly in Guiizhou, Hunan, Yunan, and the coastal province Zhejiang.
Difficulties with air and highway transportation have led to heavier pressure on China's railways system. On Thursday (January 20), close to five million passengers traveled by train, a 17% percent increase over the number last year. To cope with the traffic that would surely pick up as this year's Spring Festival (February 2) draws near, railway administrators have added over 400 new services to the train timetable, creating a total daily transportation capacity of six million.
According forecasters, weather will improve in the coming days for much of South and Southwest China. There still some scattered snow and rain, but nothing heavy. On Thursday afternoon, the Central Meteorological Station lifted the color-blue storm warning for the region.