As a measure to relieve traffic pressure from those stranded on
holiday in South China's Hainan province, airline companies are
operating more wide-body aircraft from the island province to help
tourists get back to their homes or workplaces sooner, according to the
Civil Aviation Administration of China.
Starting Friday, to March 2, Hainan Airlines will add 88 flights from
Haikou and Sanya to mainland cities, with the interim planes offering
about 10,000 seats, company officials said.
The Qiongzhou Strait, which links Hainan Island to the Chinese
mainland, welcomed its peak of returning travelers on Wednesday as the
Spring Festival holiday came to an end. However, ferry service between
the strait has been cut out off from time to time by heavy fog in the
past eight days, stranding thousands of cars and holiday-goers on Hainan
Island, and leaving heavy traffic pressure on ports in Haikou, capital
city of Hainan.
Congestion on the sea has driven up air ticket prices and contributed
to the difficulty in getting flight tickets. Tickets for almost all
flights linking the island with big cities, such as Beijing, Guangzhou
and Shanghai, have been sold out for the next few days. Only limited
first class tickets remain, of which most are higher than 10,000 yuan.
As of 2:30 pm on Friday, the Haikou maritime department said a total
of 6,177 vehicles and 27,792 passengers had been shipped to Guangdong
province on the other side of the strait on Friday, but 12,432 cars were
still lining up outside the three ports in Haikou as of 7:30 pm.
The whole city has been mobilized to help ease the traffic jam. Local
traffic police have been working continuously to maintain traffic
order. More than 9,300 local volunteers were offering essential help on
sites since last Sunday, with more than 327 service stations set up,
hotels and restaurants and other companies offering free meals, drinking
water and quilts to more than 148,600 stranded passengers.
A large number of social media are circulating a moving photo that
shows passengers in a car rolling down their window to give thumbs up to
show their appreciation for Haikou volunteers when they passed by a
"The long time waiting grew into restlessness, but with water, canned
rice porridge and help provided by the volunteers, our anxiety was
eased", said a tourist surnamed Chen, who had waited for more than eight
hours in Haikou.
"The police worked hard to direct the traffic, and lots of workers
are working to help solve the problems. All us passengers need to obey
the rules", she said, adding her family had a fabulous holiday in
"The traffic department estimated that more than 50,000 vehicles need
to be ferried in the next few days", said Gu Gang, executive vice mayor
of Haikou. "The traffic jam will continue for a couple of days," he