thanks for visiting cnnmoney.

We're no longer maintaining this page.

For the latest business news and markets data, please visit CNN Business

Delayed! Why flying in China is hard

China's airports suffer more flights delays than almost anywhere else in the world, leading to fits of outrage.

Chronic flight delays

aviation china 1

Flying in China? Prepare for lengthy airport delays.

The country's largest airports, serving the mega-cities of Shanghai and Beijing, suffer more flights delays than almost anywhere else in the world.

In June 2013, only 18% of flights made their departure times at Beijing Capital International Airport, according to data from FlightStats.

Shanghai was little improved, logging an on-time departure rate of 29%. A whopping 34% of flights were delayed by more than 45 minutes, while 3% were canceled outright.

While June was a particularly bad month, frequent China travelers have learned to build huge blocks of time into their schedules to account for potential delays.

A variety of factors contribute to the trend, including overly cautious air traffic control and airspace restrictions for civilian aircraft. It's a problem that has caught the attention of Beijing.

There are signs that progress is being made. In the final month of last year, 43% of flights left Shanghai on time, while Beijing's rate improved to 56%. Official statistics, widely thought to be massaged, also show improvement.

  @CRrileyCNN - Last updated May 28 2014 10:32 PM ET

Partner Offers