Thousands of passengers stranded at Chengdu airport due to smog

Flights have been delayed or canceled because of the pollution. Pic: Shutterstock

MORE than 10,000 passengers have been stranded at China’s Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport since Wednesday night due to heavy smog.

Flights have been delayed or canceled because of the pollution, said to be the worst the city has experienced in years.

Reports said the airport’s runway was closed for 10 hours and more than 80 flights were canceled last weekend.

The airport released a statement: “This weather conditions had disrupted most of their flights and the highest number of passengers in years.”

A report in CNN said that images from CCTV footage showed restless passengers eating instant noodles and falling asleep in waiting areas while crates of luggage sat on the tarmac next to grounded planes.

The air quality of Chengdu is said to be measured at level 280. According to the World Air Quality Index, this is categorized as “very unhealthy”.

In 2013, the city opened a “smog clinic” to help those suffering from illnesses caused by the poor air quality.

A separate report surmised that China’s tourism problem has continually proven a challenge for the tourism industry, as the number of overseas visitors entering the country has declined since 2014.

The report added that a survey conducted by Bain & Company and the American Chamber of Commerce in China indicated that a majority of American companies that are operating in China are having trouble filling up executive positions from abroad due to the concerns of air pollution.

Pollution levels in industrial cities south of the capital, Beijing, soared to levels as high as 875, considered “extremely hazardous”.

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