China has ordered domestic airlines to reduce delays and improve service around August's Beijing Olympics or face penalties, the state-run China Daily reported on Saturday.
Airlines that fail to improve performance could be barred from expanding services for two years among other penalties introduced by aviation regulators at a meeting on Friday, the newspaper said.
Scrutiny would be intensified from July to September, the report said quoting Vice Minister Yang Guoqing of the General Administration of Civil Aviation.
China's airlines and airports have struggled with soaring demand for passenger and cargo services amid the country's economic boom.
Despite increases in airline fleets and new airports, air traffic corridors have become clogged around major cities and hubs.
Beijing's overcrowded airport, the world's ninth busiest, will open a new $4.6 billion (Dh16.8 billion) terminal and runway this year to cope with the demand.
As part of the new improvement campaign, the Civil Aviation Administration has ordered airlines to stop overbooking flights and keep one or two planes on standby at six key airports in case of delays, China Daily said.
The aviation regulator has also extended a penalty measure introduced last year allowing it to cancel flights that are regularly delayed. (AP)
Beijing seeks improved airline services for Olympics