MIAMI — The first flight from Beijing’s new airport, Daxing, took off on September 25, 2019. A China Southern Airlines Airbus A380 had the honors of being the first aircraft to leave in commercial service, bound for Guangzhou in southern China.
Earlier in the morning, at 10:30 am local time, the first airplane landed on the brand-new runway—a Boeing 737-800 from China United Airlines.
Daxing will accommodate passengers from other areas near to Beijing, Hebei, and Tianjin, linked by an ever-growing public transport network.
Daxing Airport was built with the expectation that China will become the world’s largest aviation market by 2020, overtaking the United States. The current Beijing-Capital International Airport is already facing capacity constraints, causing delays and a bottleneck to China’s aviation market.
To prevent another bottleneck being created, the airport is opening with four runways, and the expectation of handling 72 million passengers per year by 2025, with a maximum capacity of 100 million.
The airport has been hailed as “a new powerful source of national development” at a ceremony overseen by President Xi Jinping, just days ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
One of the significant differences between Daxing and Capital airports is geography. Dexing airport is located nearly double the distance from Beijing’s center, compared to Beijing-Capital. However, an express train to the new airport should take around 20 minutes from the south of Beijing.
The new airport will become China Southern’s biggest hub after Guangzhou. The airline is planning to handle as much as 40% of all its traffic through the new airport and base over 200 aircraft there by 2025.