Beijing Daxing International Airport, the mega airport in southern Beijing, is expected to be fully operational before September 15, the industry regulator said on Monday.
Liu Chunchen, an official from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), said the preparation work for the new airport is going smoothly, and the airport has finished all the six rehearsals, involving more than 50,000 passengers, 402 planes and 32,900 items of luggage.
“The aviation staff are ready for September 15, and the airport will be open when ordered by the central government,” Liu said.
Currently, there are 16 carriers set to operate at the new airport, including seven from China, such as China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Hebei Airlines.
Qian Yuanyuan, an official from the Beijing Daxing International Airport Management Center, said last week that three domestic airlines – Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines – will operate the first three flights into the new airport.
Hu Haiqing, an official from the Beijing branch of China Southern Airlines, said that the first flight departing from Daxing airport will fly to Guangzhou, South China’s Guangdong Province, using an Airbus A380 jumbo jet.
China Southern is the biggest operator in terms of the slots at the airport. China Eastern said that its overall investment in the new airport will exceed 120 billion yuan ($16.82 billion), and that 200 large and medium-sized passenger aircraft will be put into operation at the Daxing airport in the coming years.
The airport, which will handle 45 million passengers annually by 2021, and 72 million by 2025, is expected to open 116 routes, including 101 domestic routes and 15 international routes, covering 112 destinations worldwide, and the regulator is encouraging overseas airlines to operate in the new airport.
British Airways will move to the new airport completely, while other carriers such as Ethiopian Airlines, Polish Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Air Maroc and Finnair will operate either in both airports or in one or the other, Gu Xiaohong, an official with the CAAC said on Monday.
Finnair said in June that it will add capacity in Beijing with three weekly flights from the new airport, making it the first overseas carrier to have such routes in both airports in Beijing.