China Eastern Airlines will be flying its Airbus A350-900s from Beijing’s new Daxing International to Paris Charles de Gaul. The new route will begin operations on 29 March 2020 and will be the airline’s first intercontinental service to depart Daxing.
Reports by CH-Aviation suggest that China Eastern Airlines, China’s second-largest carrier by passenger numbers, will operate its first intercontinental route out of Beijing Daxing International at the end of March.
The new Beijing to Paris service, which will be operating as flight MU253, will take off from Daxing at 01:00 local time, arriving at Charles de Gaul at 06:05 local time.
The return leg of the journey, which will operate as flight MU524, will depart France at 14:20 local time and land at Daxing at 06:04 local time.
Beijing Daxing International
Beijing Daxing International opened in late September as one of the largest airports in the world. It primarily serves Beijing, which is located 50 kilometers away and has a planned capacity of 75 million passengers per year by 2025.
The airport is a hub for both China Eastern Airways and China’s largest carrier by passenger numbers, China Southern Airlines.
The airport is special because of the sheer size of its terminal building, which is the largest single-structure terminal building in the world.
The first intercontinental flight out of Beijing Daxing
Beijing Daxing had its official opening ceremony on 25 September and welcomed its first flight the next day.
As the Chinese domestic air travel market is so big, it took more than a month for the airport to see its first international flight departure, an Air China flight to Bangkok which took off on 27 October.
Although Beijing Daxing has now seen inbound and outbound intercontinental flights, China Eastern Airlines still won’t have served any international flights out of the airport until its service to Paris Charles de Gaul starts at the end of March.
This highlights just how much of the air traffic going to and from Beijing Daxing International Airport is domestic. In fact, it’s been obvious for a while that China’s domestic aviation market is rapidly becoming one of the most important in the world.
By 2028, Boeing predicts that the Chinese domestic aviation market will become the biggest in the world, overtaking Europe and North America.
As a result, it looks like setting up international and intercontinental routes out of Beijing Daxing is not the biggest priority for the Chinese carriers at the moment.
China Eastern Airlines’ Airbus A350s
China Eastern Airlines has already confirmed that it will be operating the Beijing Daxing to Paris Charles de Gaul route with its Airbus A350s.
At the moment, the airline currently has six Airbus A350-900s in operation and is due to receive a further 14 of the type by the end of 2022.
It received its first of the type in November 2018 and has so far deployed it on a number of long-haul routes to Europe, North America and Australia.