Hong Kong: flights resume after massive delays


Flights resume after massive delay in Shanghai strands thousands at Hong Kong International Airport

Angry passengers complain they were kept awake for more than 24 hours without rest or food as airlines scramble to reschedule flights to Shanghai Pudong airport

A combination of military drills and bad weather in eastern China left thousands of passengers headed for Shanghai and nearby cities stranded at Hong Kong International Airport for more than 12 hours.


At least 13 flights scheduled for Shanghai Pudong International Airport from 10.55am were still grounded at the airport by 9pm. Passengers with Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Hong Kong Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Juneau Airlines, and Spring Airlines were affected.


No flights departed for Shanghai Pudong International Airport from Hong Kong after 10am because of a combination of air traffic restrictions over eastern China caused by a military drill in the morning and rainy weather in the afternoon, according to airport ground staff.

Zhang said he is a frequent traveller to Shanghai but has never seen delays of this kind.


“I have lots of experience with delays on the mainland caused by air traffic control. What I cannot accept is being given new departure times every two hours. If there is no departure time, tell us there is no time.”


A Cathay manager at the scene denied the departure times were arbitrarily set but said they were based on possible departure slots from Shanghai air traffic control.


Passengers in transit who had come from long-haul flights from New York, New Delhi and Singapore complained Cathay Pacific and Dragonair had kept them awake too long without offering any place to rest, nor any food or drink while waiting, endangering their health. They were unsatisfied with the airlines’ explanation of the situation and demanded compensation.