Beijing’s new Daxing International Airport was put into service with the take-off of a flight from China Southern Airlines on Wednesday afternoon.
This inaugural flight connected Beijing to Guangzhou, a city in southern China. Six other Chinese airlines then inaugurated their first flights via the new airport.
Located 46 km south of downtown Beijing, the new airport is designed like a phoenix spreading its wings. Passenger and cargo volumes are expected to reach 72 million and 2 million tonnes respectively by 2025, with a total of 620,000 take-offs and landings.
Only eight minutes on foot are needed to get from the centre of the terminal to the farthest gate.
Zhang Tao, the pilot of the inaugural flight, said before the flight that he had been working as a pilot for 30 years and had witnessed the development of Chinese airports from relatively humble beginnings to this gigantic airport.
“This change represents a great advance of the national force,” Zhang said.