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M564038
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Large number of cancellations in Beijing

Sat Sep 24, 2022 1:12 pm

Anyone know of any operational reason for the large percentage of cancelled flights out of Beijing tha last couple of days?

There are all kinds of rumors on Twitter and in the (mostly «2nd tier» asian» media about a possible coup and some kind of lock down, but western media is completely silent on this so is this simply some operational issue? Anyone in the know?
Last edited by SQ22 on Sat Sep 24, 2022 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title updated
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 1:29 pm

I guess an operational issue. Western media would report on large-scale unrest.
 
SWADawg
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 1:36 pm

Dutchy wrote:
I guess an operational issue. Western media would report on large-scale unrest.

Not necessarily.
 
M564038
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 1:50 pm

I guess speculation into that possible explanation threads a thin line between this and Non-AV, but speculation is a palace coup, ie. re-instatement of the previous, slightly more moderate leader.

Wouldn’t there have been more openess about operational issues? Is there any NOTAMs?
Dutchy wrote:
I guess an operational issue. Western media would report on large-scale unrest.
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 1:54 pm

Are there any well known media sources in Asia or globally which are publishing this speculation ?
We need something more reputable and reliable than Twitter to have a discussion
 
holczakker
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:03 pm

It's not only Beijing but most of the major cities (ie the cancellations).
 
yyztpa2
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:13 pm

This being one of the tweets feeding the rumors
https://twitter.com/jenniferatntd/statu ... -24-811117

Flightview continues to show large number of cancels
https://www.flightview.com/airport/PEK- ... a/arrivals
 
M564038
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:14 pm

Agreed, and that’s why this thread is about possible operative disturbances rather than chinese power politics and in civ av rather than non-av for the time being;-)
davidjohnson6 wrote:
Are there any well known media sources in Asia or globally which are publishing this speculation ?
We need something more reputable and reliable than Twitter to have a discussion
 
JohanTally
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:22 pm

Obviously completely unsubstantiated but I did see this speculative article.

https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/x ... 2022-09-24
 
DeltaWings
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:35 pm

Dutchy wrote:
I guess an operational issue. Western media would report on large-scale unrest.


Oh come on. Don't think that western media is here to inform you
 
DFW17L
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:41 pm

Dutchy wrote:
I guess an operational issue. Western media would report on large-scale unrest.

@Dutchy. Thanks for cleaning out my sinuses with my morning coffee.
 
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FJL767400
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:42 pm

It happens all the time.

Flights in to the capital are always curbed due to pandemic issues because of the well known reason.
The unspoken rule is that if a city records new local covid cases on a specific day, then all but one flight into Beijing will be canceled. Sometimes exemptions are granted though.

And even without flight curbs it makes people difficult to enter Beijing because the flight ticketing system is already linked up to the covid tracing network. If one's determined "risky" for Beijing entry, his/her order will be rejected by the system. So there is really not a lot of demand so it leads to large numbers of cancellations naturally.

And the same thing happens to trains and train ticket sales.

And with the Party 's representative meeting within weeks from now, public security control is tightened. (Chinese tradition.)
Many (including some foreign media) would speculate that some sort of turmoil is in the works. This was probably started by someone with little knowledge about aviation in China looking at flight schedules by chance and thought it was alarming --but it is not as alarming as it looks like at all. This began to spread on Chinese social media like two days ago and now it's still circulating, even on A.net.

Just stop it please.

P.S. Keep politics out --I'm trying my best.
 
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SQ22
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 3:03 pm

Please note that subject of this discussion are flight cancellations and not the possibility of a coup.
 
M564038
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 3:19 pm

This makes sense, thank you! So with access to the right statistics, we would see a pattern of this happening repeatedly over time?

Not ruling out the possibilities of tension in the chinese communist party, not ruling out some kind of 9-dimensional world power chess game between russia, china, India et all at any or all time, or not, but these cancellations are atleast not a symptom or indication for or against any of it, I am reading that correct?

FJL767400 wrote:
It happens all the time.

Flights in to the capital are always curbed due to pandemic issues because of the well known reason.
The unspoken rule is that if a city records new local covid cases on a specific day, then all but one flight into Beijing will be canceled. Sometimes exemptions are granted though.

And even without flight curbs it makes people difficult to enter Beijing because the flight ticketing system is already linked up to the covid tracing network. If one's determined "risky" for Beijing entry, his/her order will be rejected by the system. So there is really not a lot of demand so it leads to large numbers of cancellations naturally.

And the same thing happens to trains and train ticket sales.

And with the Party 's representative meeting within weeks from now, public security control is tightened. (Chinese tradition.)
Many (including some foreign media) would speculate that some sort of turmoil is in the works. This was probably started by someone with little knowledge about aviation in China looking at flight schedules by chance and thought it was alarming --but it is not as alarming as it looks like at all. This began to spread on Chinese social media like two days ago and now it's still circulating, even on A.net.

Just stop it please.

P.S. Keep politics out --I'm trying my best.
 
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FJL767400
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 3:28 pm

M564038 wrote:
This makes sense, thank you! So with access to the right statistics, we would see a pattern of this happening repeatedly over time?

Not ruling out the possibilities of tension in the chinese communist party, not ruling out some kind of 9-dimensiol world power chess game between russia, china, India et all at any or all time, but these cancellations are atleast not a symptom of it, I am reading that correct?

FJL767400 wrote:
It happens all the time.

Flights in to the capital are always curbed due to pandemic issues because of the well known reason.
The unspoken rule is that if a city records new local covid cases on a specific day, then all but one flight into Beijing will be canceled. Sometimes exemptions are granted though.

And even without flight curbs it makes people difficult to enter Beijing because the flight ticketing system is already linked up to the covid tracing network. If one's determined "risky" for Beijing entry, his/her order will be rejected by the system. So there is really not a lot of demand so it leads to large numbers of cancellations naturally.

And the same thing happens to trains and train ticket sales.

And with the Party 's representative meeting within weeks from now, public security control is tightened. (Chinese tradition.)
Many (including some foreign media) would speculate that some sort of turmoil is in the works. This was probably started by someone with little knowledge about aviation in China looking at flight schedules by chance and thought it was alarming --but it is not as alarming as it looks like at all. This began to spread on Chinese social media like two days ago and now it's still circulating, even on A.net.

Just stop it please.

P.S. Keep politics out --I'm trying my best.


Yes if you search for Chinese airport traffic data for the past two or three years you will find striking figures. (Unfortunately you may have to dig through material written in Chinese)

Aviation is among one of the worst hit industries. And the bad news is that it's still getting worse.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 5:01 pm

SQ22 wrote:
Please note that subject of this discussion are flight cancellations and not the possibility of a coup.


A humble suggestion: take the "coup rumors" out of the title, and this thread will die its own death.
 
sibibom
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 5:02 pm

A quick look at Flightradar24, there are no Chinese airlines operating (barely a few long flights, even those are close to landing). However international airlines continue to operate and overfly.

One of the world largest aviation market is on hold and no major news media is even reporting it, clearly something bigger is happening.
 
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IceCream
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 5:07 pm

So the coup was not true.
Why were the flights cancelled?
 
Newark727
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 5:08 pm

As happy as I would be to see Winnie the Pooh gone, I feel like we'd be seeing a lot more than just cancelled flights if something was really happening.
 
JohanTally
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing (Coup rumors)

Sat Sep 24, 2022 5:24 pm

IceCream wrote:
So the coup was not true.
Why were the flights cancelled?

Knowing how they've handled Covid it was probably one positive test and they ground all air traffic.
 
leader1
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing

Sat Sep 24, 2022 5:24 pm

If you check out FlightAware, you’ll see that most major PRC airports have had sudden drops in flights throughout the past two years. It’s most likely due to lockdowns of some sort, which can be sudden.
 
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SumChristianus
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing

Sat Sep 24, 2022 8:43 pm

The most interesting (non conspiratorial) thing these rumors have made me realize is that there aren't really any domestic passenger redeyes in China. Freight yes, international passenger yes, but no domestic redeyes in China.

I would have expected something like Urumqi-Beijing or even Chengdu-Shenyang to see them. I wonder if this is a pandemic and therefore demand related thing, or rather something to do with the fact that all of China is on one timezone.

Also, the cancellations aren't unique to Beijing. Look at Urumqi or Wuhan.

But I agree with most above. A partial cancellation of flights by domestic carriers is far more consistent with pandemic-related lockdowns or low demand than a political situation, where you'd likely see the foreign carriers cutting first, the opposite of what we're seeing now.
 
Fuling
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing

Sat Sep 24, 2022 11:52 pm

SumChristianus wrote:
The most interesting (non conspiratorial) thing these rumors have made me realize is that there aren't really any domestic passenger redeyes in China. Freight yes, international passenger yes, but no domestic redeyes in China.

I would have expected something like Urumqi-Beijing or even Chengdu-Shenyang to see them. I wonder if this is a pandemic and therefore demand related thing, or rather something to do with the fact that all of China is on one timezone.


There were no red eyes pre-covid either. As you said, timezones help red eyes but as China is in one timezone, it doesn't work. If they had them, the times would be awful!
 
leader1
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing

Sun Sep 25, 2022 1:46 am

Fuling wrote:
SumChristianus wrote:
The most interesting (non conspiratorial) thing these rumors have made me realize is that there aren't really any domestic passenger redeyes in China. Freight yes, international passenger yes, but no domestic redeyes in China.

I would have expected something like Urumqi-Beijing or even Chengdu-Shenyang to see them. I wonder if this is a pandemic and therefore demand related thing, or rather something to do with the fact that all of China is on one timezone.


There were no red eyes pre-covid either. As you said, timezones help red eyes but as China is in one timezone, it doesn't work. If they had them, the times would be awful!


Also, don’t forget that most people live in the eastern part of the country. Red eyes are more for longer and cross country/intercontinental flights. CTU-PEK, which would be one of the longer domestic flights between two major cities, is only a little over two and a half hours long. I mean, you don’t see any red eyes from NYC-MIA, which is about the same distance, do you?
 
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SumChristianus
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing

Sun Sep 25, 2022 3:25 am

Well, a lot busier now at ~11:20 AM in Beijing (and all of China) currently:

Image

Still a lot of cancellations from a cursory departure board scan on FlightRadar looking at both Beijing-Capital and Beijing Daxing but at about 20 to 25% cancellation rate right now for the rest of the day.

Can we put the rumors to bed? -- At least until the CCP party congress next week...
 
leader1
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing

Sun Sep 25, 2022 3:55 am

SumChristianus wrote:
Well, a lot busier now at ~11:20 AM in Beijing (and all of China) currently:

Image

Still a lot of cancellations from a cursory departure board scan on FlightRadar looking at both Beijing-Capital and Beijing Daxing but at about 20 to 25% cancellation rate right now for the rest of the day.

Can we put the rumors to bed? -- At least until the CCP party congress next week...


Looking at flightaware, there doesn’t seem to be a huge change in the number of flights compared to a few weeks ago. Scroll to the bottom to see the number of movements the airports had for a given day.

https://flightaware.com/live/airport/ZBAA (PEK)

https://flightaware.com/live/airport/ZBAD (PKX)

Maybe a slight uptick if anything, but still way down compared to before the pandemic. And very unstable with lots of peaks and valleys. Before the pandemic, at least at PEK, it was generally a straight line at around 1600 movements a day, except during the Lunar New Year.

Pretty much every major PRC airport has followed this variable pattern the last few years.
 
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FJL767400
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing

Sun Sep 25, 2022 5:48 am

Fuling wrote:
SumChristianus wrote:
The most interesting (non conspiratorial) thing these rumors have made me realize is that there aren't really any domestic passenger redeyes in China. Freight yes, international passenger yes, but no domestic redeyes in China.

I would have expected something like Urumqi-Beijing or even Chengdu-Shenyang to see them. I wonder if this is a pandemic and therefore demand related thing, or rather something to do with the fact that all of China is on one timezone.


There were no red eyes pre-covid either. As you said, timezones help red eyes but as China is in one timezone, it doesn't work. If they had them, the times would be awful!


In the past CAAC doesn't allow domestic flights to cross the 00:00 mark at all. In recent years the limitation has been eased so now you can see some of the flights getting up to like 00:30 or 01:00 for their scheduled arrivals. But this has gained bad reputation among the crew, for some companies would schedule the so-called "big stopovers" (translated directly). The crew would finish a red-eye flight and proceed to another early morning flight at 5 or 6 AM. Taking the after flight and preflight operations out this gives them little time to rest.
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing

Sun Sep 25, 2022 6:21 am

Rehearsal of national day event?
 
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zkojq
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing

Sun Sep 25, 2022 10:19 am

FJL767400 wrote:
In the past CAAC doesn't allow domestic flights to cross the 00:00 mark at all.


What was the reason for this ?
 
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Aesma
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Re: Large number of cancellations in Beijing

Sun Sep 25, 2022 9:07 pm

There are plenty of foreign journalists (western and otherwise) living in China. Well, less than before since the country has gone full dystopian, but it's not a closed country. If something was happening on the ground we would know (from local people, too).

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