Infographic: Take a panoramic tour of Beijing Daxing International Airport

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-09-25 08:34

President Xi Jinping announced on Wednesday morning the official opening of Beijing Daxing International Airport, which saw off its first flights in the afternoon.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended the operation ceremony of the airport.

A China Southern A380 jet headed to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport became the first flight to take off from the new Beijing Daxing International Airport at 4:22 pm Wednesday. A China Eastern Airlines' A350-900 and an Air China flight also left for Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Chengdu, respectively, shortly after the first aircraft took off.

China Southern will have 40 percent of airport slots at Daxing, followed by China Eastern with 30 percent and other airlines sharing the rest, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

China United Airlines, a subsidiary of China Eastern, will be the first airline to transfer its base of operations to Daxing. Currently at Beijing Nanyuan Airport, it will operate over 130 daily flights from the new airport, serving 60 routes.

The 80 billion-yuan ($11.7 billion) facility, 46 kilometers south of downtown, will ultimately handle over 100 million passengers a year, matching Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States.

With four runways, 268 parking bays and a vast terminal building covering 700,000 square meters, the new airport is expected to handle 45 million passenger trips a year by 2021 and 72 million by 2025.

Wang Keju contributed to this story.

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