China Eastern and China Southern To Move Operations To New Beijing Airport

New airport to process 100 million passengers annually

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has announced that China Eastern and China Southern Airlines will relocate their operations to Beijing’s new airport following its opening in 2019.

Other international airlines that will move to new Beijing airport include Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Korean Air, and other SkyTeam Alliance members.

Air China will not be moving its services, along with other Star Alliance partners including United Airlines, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines and Japanese airline ANA.

The new Beijing airport, which will also serve nearby Tianjin and parts of Hebei, is located in Daxing District, 50 kilometers south of the city center. Experts say airliners will likely offer discounted rates in order to attract customers to the new airport.

Accounting for 40 percent of its expected traffic, the new airport’s main carriers, China Eastern and China Southern Airlines, will be given preferential treatment with regard to flight routes and ground services, said the CAAC.

US aviation magazine, Air Transport World, named Air China as the big winner in the relocation. China Travel News cited an unidentified analyst who holds the same view:

“Contrary to the three major airports New York and the five major airports in London that allocate airlines bases according to market environment, Beijing’s strategy of allocating airlines to the  two international airports based on airline alliance groups is good for passenger transfer. Air China is apparently the biggest winner as it can maintain its base in Beijing Capital Airport, whereas China’s Eastern’s move to the new airport will deal a blow to the carrier’s flagship Beijing-Shanghai service.”

The Beijing new airport will cost an estimated 80 billion yuan and process 100 million passengers annually.

China’s commercial aviation industry is limited by the number of flight paths available to them, often resulting in delays. With a whole new airport, airliners can add more flights and launch new routes.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor