Airlines are canceling flights from Shanghai as a typhoon forces the city's airports to suspend all flights

·3 min read
Dark clouds brought by typhoon Chanthu hang over the Bund on September 12, 2021 in Shanghai, China.
Typhoon Chanthu could bring up to 11 inches of rain to China's east coast. Dark clouds were already brooding over Shanghai on Sunday. VCG/VCG via Getty Images
  • Shanghai's two airports are suspending all flights because of Typhoon Chanthu.

  • This includes flights operated by, or with codeshares with, Delta, American, United, Qantas, and KLM.

  • "Passenger safety is our number one priority," the Shanghai Airport Authority said.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Shanghai's two airports are canceling all flights because of a typhoon set to bring heavy rain to China's east coast.

A pop-up message on the Shanghai Airport Authority website on Monday morning said that all flights in and out of Pudong International Airport would be canceled from 11 a.m. local time (11.p.m. Sunday ET) and all flights in and out of Hongqiao Airport from 3 p.m. (3 a.m. Monday ET).

The Shanghai Airport Authority pop-up website
Shanghai's two airports are canceling all their flights, according to an alert on the Shanghai Airport Authority website. Grace Dean/Insider

This includes flights operated by, or with codeshares with, Delta, American, United, Qantas, and KLM.

United told Insider that it had originally scheduled a roundtrip route due to depart from San Francisco International Airport to Pudong on Sunday and return on Monday because of the typhoon, but that it had delayed both legs of the journey by 24 hours. A spokesperson for the airline said that customers who had booked onto these flights were able to rebook onto the next available flight.

An American Airlines flight to Los Angeles International, set to depart from Pudong at 3:15 p.m. Monday (3:15 a.m. ET), was canceled, according to the flight tracker on the airport's website.

A spokesperson for the airline told Insider: "We're only operating cargo-only flights to PVG right now and expect minimal impact to our cargo operation."

All of Delta Airlines' 15 internal flights departing from Pudong Monday, which are operated as codeshare flights with Chinese airlines, have also been canceled, according to the flight tracker. Some of its Tuesday flights are still listed as "scheduled" on the site, though others are listed as canceled.

A Delta spokesperson told Insider that, because these were codeshare flights, they weren't operated by Delta.

"We currently operate four weekly flights each way between Shanghai and the US," the spokesperson said. "We currently have no planned schedule adjustments to note."

Delta Airlines Shanghai flights canceled
All of Delta's codeshare flights from Pudong International Airport scheduled for Monday have been canceled. Grace Dean/Insider

Pudong handled 76.2 million passengers in 2019, according to data from the Chinese government. This made it China's second-busiest airport, behind Beijing Capital.

Bloomberg reported that the state-owned Shanghai Airport Authority first announced the cancellations on Sunday night.

Flight traffic at both airports was "sharply reduced" from midnight on Sunday night, with almost 80% of scheduled flights being canceled, the airport authority said.

Shanghai Airport Authority said that it made the decision "in response to Typhoon Chanthu." Local officials say the typhoon, which was downgraded from a super typhoon to a strong typhoon on Sunday, could bring up to 11 inches of rain to the provinces of Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang, which lie along China's east coast, The South China Morning Post reported.

The alert didn't say when the flight suspensions would end. The Shanghai Airport Authority said it would adjust and release the latest flight schedules "according to prevailing typhoon conditions."

"Passenger safety is our number one priority and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you," it added.

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