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Hundreds of flights canceled, impact on rail services limited

(China Daily)

15:12, August 08, 2011

Typhoon Muifa, which hit the country's coastal cities over the weekend, severely affected transport in East China, especially air transport.

Hundreds of flights in the region were canceled. According to the Shanghai Airport's website, only 25 flights took off or landed at Shanghai Pudong International Airport up to 1 pm on Sunday. Traffic at the airport did not resume until 2 pm, when the effects of the typhoon began to ease.

Hongqiao International Airport, in the west of the city, was less affected by the typhoon, with 90 flights having taken off or landed at the airport by 1 pm.

On Saturday, about 260 flights were canceled at both airports because of the typhoon.

The hotlines of major airlines, including China Eastern Airlines, Air China and China Southern Airlines, were busy on Sunday as passengers inquired about flights.

The airlines regularly updated flight information on their websites. China Eastern canceled nearly 150 flights taking off and landing in Shanghai and Hangzhou on Sunday. Air China also canceled 133 flights on Saturday and 159 flights on Sunday from or to Shanghai and cities in Zhejiang province, including Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Ningbo and Taizhou.

"I booked a ticket on an Air China flight from Beijing to Shanghai this morning, but the company informed me by SMS that the flight was canceled," said a white-collar worker in Beijing surnamed Yu. "I tried China Eastern Airlines later but also failed. Now I'm on the high-speed train."

However, the typhoon's influence on railway transport was limited.

"No trains, including the high-speed trains departing from Shanghai, have been affected by typhoon Muifa so far," Chen Wanjun, spokesman with the Shanghai Railway Bureau, told China Daily on Sunday afternoon.

Shanghai Metro's official micro blog said on Sunday that all the metro lines were operating normally.

The company had said earlier that if the typhoon alert was raised to orange, it would limit the speed on above-ground lines and shorten the routes.

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