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The flight path from Taipei, Taiwan, to Tianjin, China, does not go directly to Tianjin in a straight line.

Instead, it heads directly north, then banks left (west) before heading north again.

Does anyone know why this is?

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It's because China manages its air traffic by routing flights along relatively narrow air corridors. For a discussion, see https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/explained-flight-delays-china-todd-siena.

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    Thank you very much, that explains it very clearly! I don't suppose anyone knows why the flight corridors are so small? Is it something to do with military air space? – thatsagoal Nov 3 '15 at 5:58
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    I suspect it is historical. They were probably established decades ago and the ATC system has not been modernized. – phoog Nov 3 '15 at 6:08

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