China Reroutes 36 Flights Around Beijing to Ease Air Congestion

China, where one in four flights departs late, is rerouting 36 flights around Beijing to ease airspace congestion above the nation’s capital.

The scheduled trips will take different routes starting today, the official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday, citing Wang Liya, head of the air control management bureau of China’s civil aviation regulator. This will lead to shorter or longer flying distance, with any increase limited to 10 percent, Xinhua said. Two calls to Wang’s office went unanswered today.

China’s government is seeking to rein in delays at airlines that are are worsening as carriers expand their fleets while the nation’s military controls airspace and caps the allotment to civil aviation at 20 percent.

Beijing and Shanghai had on-time departure rates of 18 percent and 29 percent respectively in July, the worst among 35 major international airports, according to Portland, Oregon-based FlightStats Inc.