China United Airlines has been confirmed as Beijing Daxing’s (PKX) first operator. The airline will reportedly use the airport exclusively for a few weeks before other airlines slowly transition to the airport from Beijing Capital Airport (PEK).
Beijing Daxing Airport is set to open this month. The airport is designed to completely replace Beijing’s Nanyuan Airport, currently only occupied by China United Airlines. However, some airlines are also planning to switch from Beijing Capital to Beijing Daxing. One of these is British Airways set to fly to the next Daxing Airport from the 27th of October.
China United Airlines first to Daxing
According to Air Transport World Online, China United Airlines will be the first airline to move to Beijing’s newly built Daxing Airport. According to FlightRadar24.com, the airline has six flights scheduled from the airport tomorrow. However, as the website is showing five flights from other operators, and no aircraft currently on the ground, whether these flights will go ahead is unknown.
Previous reports suggested that the airport would open on the 15th of September, and according to China News, the airport’s newly built subway did open to the public yesterday.
Tickets for the subway connecting downtown Beijing with the newly built Daxing International #Airport went on sale for the first time on Sunday, and were priced between 10 – 35 yuan ($1.4-4.9) depending on travel distance. pic.twitter.com/unz3SLc07K
— China News 中国新闻网 (@Echinanews) September 15, 2019
The switchover process
The process of switching airports can either be a minor task or a major undertaking depending on the airline’s circumstances. Let us take British Airways for example. Having one flight a day to Beijing means that the move really won’t be too stressful. One day the Beijing flight will leave from Capital Airport. The next day when it departs from Heathrow it will head to Daxing instead.
However, things will be slightly more stressful for China United Airlines. According to China Daily, the airline has 60 aircraft and 4000 employees that need to be moved from its old hub at Beijing’s Nanyuan Airport, to the new hub at Beijing Daxing. This process is set to take place over the course of one night. As such, it will be all hands on deck as it is not possible to transport the aircraft via road.
According to ATW Online, while China United Airlines is exclusively using Beijing Daxing airport, it will fly on 80 routes across 140 flights. This should amount to 20,000 people a day. During the IATA winter season, 15 more airlines will operate from Daxing airport, boosting the total number of destinations served up to 116 according to the CAAC. This will consist of eight local and eight international carriers.
Are you excited to see the opening of Beijing’s new Daxing Airport? Will you be flying there? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!