CAAC director general Li Jiaxiang stated airlines are responsible for 40% of flight delays, citing the cause of the delays to “airlines arranging flights so tightly that it makes the maintenance and cleaning work unable to be finished before taking off”. According to local media reports from sources including Shanghai Daily, Xinhua and China Civil Aviation Online, CAAC is targeting a 2.0 ppts improvement in on-time performance (OTP) rate to 78.5% this year. In 2011, OTP improved by 1.9 ppt to 76.5%. CAAC will implement four measures to improve on-time performance, including:
- Coordination between airlines, air traffic control and airports;
- Requiring airlines to set aside 2% to 3% additional capacity in case of flight delays;
- Urging airlines to implement more reasonable and orderly schedules;
- Improve communication and informing passengers of flight delays in advance.
Mr Li also cited the nation’s lack of airports for flight delays, adding China will invest CNY20 million (USD3.1 billion) p/a to construct 72 new airports, including 17 small airports to be constructed this year, and expand 101 airports, including expansions to 36 airports this year, by 2015 to meet the increasing demand. China currently has 180 airports.