Angry passengers attack workers in China airport over delays

BEIJING, June  3, 2010 (AFP) - Passengers furious about delays last month at a major Chinese airport vented their frustration by attacking about two dozen employees, state media said Thursday.

Torrential rain in the southern city of Guangzhou in May wreaked havoc on flight schedules, triggering 35 incidents at the Baiyun airport, which left 23 employees with minor injuries, the Guangzhou Daily said.

"June and July are also prime months for rainstorms in Guangzhou, and Baiyun airport hopes that passengers who encounter flight delays will be calm and reasonably cooperate with the airport's work," the newspaper said.

According to the report, airport workers said flight delays had increased from previous years due to rainstorms, and so passengers' aggressive behaviour had also increased.

Baiyun airport is one of the busiest in China, which has been expanding its airport infrastructure as the number of air passengers has soared over the past decade, but delays remain widespread throughout the country.

Airline traffic in China is expected to exceed 700 million passengers a year by 2020 and then double that figure by 2030, the official Xinhua news agency recently reported, citing the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).