The Shanghai-based carrier said the aircraft would be a mix of narrow-bodies and wide-bodies, which would operate on domestic Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan routes and international routes to America, Europe, Australia, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. China Eastern currently has no direct intercontinental long-haul service from Beijing.
China Eastern will invest CNY13.2 billion ($1.9 billion) in its infrastructure at the new airport in an effort to enhance its position in the Beijing market. China Eastern previously said it plans to designate Beijing’s new airport as its core strategic hub for the most profitable Beijing-Shanghai route. This should increase the number of long-haul routes from Beijing and strengthen cooperations with other SkyTeam members.
China Eastern has also signed a framework cooperation agreement with the local Daxing government to cooperate in areas including MRO, logistics, air catering and aviation media.
Guangzhou-based China Southern has had a cooperation agreement with the Beijing government as early as 2011 to allocate 200 Airbus A330s and A380s to the new airport over the next 10 years.
China Eastern and China Southern are expected to build their own infrastructures at Beijing’s new airport based on their respective passenger boardings. This would account for 40% of the airport’s annual passenger volume—which is projected to be 45 million in 2020, 72 million in 2025 and 100 million in the longer term.
Beijing-based Air China and other Star Alliance member carriers—including Hainan Airlines—are expected to remain at Beijing Capital Airport, which has a slot shortage.
(Katie Cantle - ATWOnline News)