China Eastern Airlines to build base worth US$2b at new Beijing airport

Base will be able to serve 45 million passengers a year when ready

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 April, 2017, 9:51pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 April, 2017, 10:02pm

China’s economic planner on Thursday approved China Eastern Airlines’ 13.2-billion-yuan (US$1.92 billion) plan for a base at an expansive new airport in Beijing that could eventually be the world’s largest, when completed.

The National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on its website that the base will cover 1.17 million square metres, and 30 per cent of the investment, or 3.96 billion yuan, will be funded by China Eastern.

The remaining 9.24 billion yuan will be financed using domestic bank loans, the statement added.

China plans to complete the first phase by 2019, and will be able to serve 45 million passengers a year with four runways on the first opening. Two more phases would push the capacity to an annual count of 100 million passengers.

That would put the airport as the world’s largest in surface area, roughly in line with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest by number of annual passengers.

Upon completion, rival state carrier, China Southern Airlines, will also relocate to the new airport from the existing Beijing Capital International Airport, the airport project managers told reporters last year.

They said China Eastern and China Southern will handle 40 per cent of the new airport’s footfalls.