Delayed flights will no longer cause headaches for travelers between Beijing and Shanghai after today, now that five domestic airline companies have cooperated to streamline travel procedures between the two cities.
Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines Co Ltd, China Southern Airlines Co Ltd, and Hainan Airlines have rescheduled their flights to guarantee one leaves every half-hour each day. Passengers traveling between the two cities will be able to change their flights among the five airline companies if they encounter delays.
The new arrangement of the flights between Beijing and Shanghai was created to gain an advantage for airline companies in their competition with railways, which now have trains able to make the journey between the two cities in as little as 10 hours.
The companies aim to provide a three-hour service from check-in to luggage claim in their Beijing-Shanghai flights. To aid in this mission, Beijing Capital International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport will offer exclusive check-in counters for the Beijing-Shanghai flights from these five airline companies.
Even though travel may be faster, it will not be cheaper, as ticket discounts from Beijing Capital International Airport to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport can rarely be seen on airline ticket-booking websites, like yoee.com and ctrip.com.
Most tickets are discounted by only 30 percent or less. Industry insiders say this wide range of ticket prices will bring difficulties to the cooperation of airline companies, Shanghai Business Daily reported today.
The General Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) plans for a trial stage of the Beijing-Shanghai streamlined airline service to take place from today to October 27. It also plans to expand the service to Guangzhou and Shenzhen, China's southeastern economic hubs.
4.18 million passengers flew between Beijing and Shanghai last year, accounting for a major 2.98 percent of international airline traffic as a whole.
(China.org.cn by Wu Jin, August 6, 2007)