Bad publicity

China Eastern embarrassed by slew of incidents


A bus nearly crashed into a plane at Pudong airport

Our previous story reports how bosses at China Eastern are planning to diversify their businesses. But most of the news about the airline last week had more of an operational focus after three consecutive incidents at the end of November.

First there was the story of a flight from Shanghai’s Hongqiao airport to Wuhan in which the shuttle bus took 60 passengers to an aircraft bound for Xiamen instead.

Things turned worse on the same day as a bus carrying China Eastern flyers nearly crashed into a plane at Pudong, another of Shanghai’s airports. A widely forwarded weibo post suggested one passenger was injured after the driver avoided collision by slamming on the brakes. China Eastern insisted that the bus was travelling at normal speed in a designated route. However, it didn’t explain why a passenger was injured.

Shuttle buses are not allowed to come within 200 metres of the front of an aircraft or within 50 metres of its rear or side. Therefore collisions are unlikely, the Shanghai Morning Post reported.

But the bad luck continued the next day when a China Eastern aircraft hit turbulence on its approach to Sydney. Seven on board were taken to hospital on arrival from Kunming, a new route that the airline has just launched…

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