China's aviation regulator has released plans for airlines relocation to Beijing's shining new mega-airport which is set to open later this year.
Beijing Daxing International Airport, which is 46 kilometers from downtown Beijing, and 70 kilometers from Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), is due to open in September and will accommodate 72 million passengers a year by 2025.
It is expected to become one of the busiest airports in the world.
This will be the city's second such facility and help relieve pressure on BCIA, which has a capacity of transferring 100 million passengers a year.
Impact on the old airport
Foreign airlines, along with those in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, have the choice to decide which airport to be based at, with the option of having a presence in both. Chinese carriers, except China Postal Airlines, will have to use only one airport, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
Airlines such as China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines will be moved to the new airport, while carriers such as Air China, Hainan Airlines and Grand China Air will still stay at the old airport.
The report also said that with major airlines including China Eastern and China Southern's relocation to the new airport, the BCIA might see a significant decline in its revenue, as the two hold a combined 30 percent of the market share for the Beijing aviation market.
Happy or sad
For most foreign airlines, choosing where to depart is a simple decision, as it is widely believed that those which have formed business alliance with other airlines will choose to operate at the same airport.
Hainan Airlines Group (HNA Group) seems to be another beneficiary of the new plan, since Hainan Airlines and Grand China Air, under HNA Group, could stay at the old airport, while Beijing Capital Airlines will gain access to the new airport.
However, Hong Kong Airlines, also under the HNA Group, can choose which airport they would prefer to operate in, with the option of having a presence in both.
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