China’s Government is threatening to take harsh action against airlines with poor punctuality records as it seeks to ensure smooth flight operations around the time of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Local airlines that fail to meet new punctuality requirements face tough penalties including two-year bans on expanding operations, according to official media. The reports say Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) vice minister Yang Guoqing made the announcement to airlines at a working conference on 11 January.

Yang told airlines at the conference that they will be under particularly close scrutiny between July and September to ensure they meet the new punctuality standards. China is due to host the Olympic Games in Beijing in August.

“Airlines have been ordered to stop overbooking tickets for domestic flights, and also have been asked to have one or two planes on standby at six key airports in case of unforeseen delays,” says the official China Daily newspaper.

It also says the CAAC will continue to limit the number of daily scheduled flights at Beijing Capital International Airport, adding that regulations introduced last year allowing authorities to cancel flights that are regularly late will remain in force.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news