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The average delay at Beijing Capital International Airport hit 72 minutes in 2016, up from 46 minutes in 2014.   © Reuters

China's airports losing battle with delays

Military's airspace dominance seen behind worsening disruptions

BEN HEUBL, Data Journalist | China

LONDON -- Disruptions now affect four out of 10 flights in China as punctuality deteriorates sharply, new research shows.

Since June 2017, China's on-time performance -- the ratio of flights that leave the gate less than 15 minutes after the scheduled departure time -- has fallen below 60%. The sheer number of delays is not the only reason fed-up flyers are increasingly switching to the country's well-developed high-speed rail network. In August, the average delay was longer than at any time in the past four years.

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