News sources in China are indicating that a series of military exercises in the East China Sea, expected to last until 15th August, will impose ‘air traffic restrictions, which have a real potential of causing flight delays and cancellations.
No official notice of any anticipated delays has been made, but China’s official English language paper and several other authoritative information outlets, including the Beijing police and state broadcaster China Central Television, have verified the news.
National radio reporters spoke to China’s civil aviation authority, which confirmed that delays are expected at Hongqiao and Pudong airports in Shanghai, as well as in major cities nearby, including Nanjing, Hangzhou, Hefei, Wuxi, Jinan, and Qingdao.
Without mentioning the military directly, the authorities explained that the delays will be due to the “influence of high-frequency exercises”, which leads us to take these developments very seriously.
At present we have only seen a few flights delayed by up to 3-4 hours, with some domestic flights being cancelled, so the effect on air cargo has been minimal so far.
We are monitoring the situation closely and have contingency plans in place should the matter escalate.
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