LONDON – China Southern has announced plans for a dual-hub strategy after a strong 2018. The plan would see the carrier’s Guangzhou hub dual up with a new one in Beijing-Daxing Airport later this year.

The carrier handled an estimated 2.42 million passengers in transit at it’s Guangzhou hub last year—an 8.56% increase from in 2017.

China Southern said that around 945,000 of those passengers were international transit, which is also an increment of 8.7% over 2017’s figures.

The state-owned airline is China’s largest carrier, with over 800 aircraft and more than 100,000 employees stationed around the globe.

China Southern operates more than 3,000 daily flights to 224 destinations in 40 countries.

With the announcement of their load factor increasing by a marginal value in 2018, the carrier is now ready to make its next move on expansion in 2019.

The carrier had already earmarked the upcoming Beijing-Daxing airport as its second major hub. China Southern is, in fact, planning to handle as much as 40% of all its traffic through the new airport and base over 200 aircraft there by 2025.

While there has been no official time stamp on these plans, the new airport is expected to open later this year.

Now that talks about its plans for expansion are happening and China Southern leaving the SkyTeam Alliance, it will be interesting to see further route and code sharing developments from both Beijing and Guangzhou.

With China now set to soon become the fastest growing aviation market in the world, it is clear that China Southern is positioning themselves to be able to meet the ever-growing demand for air travel in the region and around the world.