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China airport tarmac protests prompt service plea
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) April 16, 2012

Chinese regulators have urged better service in the rapidly growing aviation industry following incidents in which angry passengers stormed onto the tarmac at airports, state media said Monday.

Last week, 28 passengers travelling on Shenzhen Airlines who were angry about an overnight delay in Shanghai rushed onto the tarmac, disrupting the arrival of an incoming Emirates flight, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Two days later, several Hainan Airlines passengers at the international airport serving the southern city of Guangzhou took to the tarmac in anger over a weather-related delay, it said.

Police had to be called in to bring them back to the Guangzhou terminal, the report added.

Officials have launched probes into the "illegal" incidents, and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has urged the industry to improve service to avoid routine delays escalating into such incidents, the Global Times newspaper said.

The CAAC was not immediately available for comment when contacted by AFP.

China's domestic aviation market has grown exponentially in recent years as rising incomes have put leisure travel in reach for millions.

But flights are frequently delayed as major airports run at almost full capacity, causing exasperation among passengers and leading to sometimes violent brawls.

CAAC chief Li Jiaxiang was quoted by state media in March as saying airlines themselves were responsible for 40 percent of delays by arranging schedules too tightly.


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