China Eastern Airlines will base 150 to 200 aircraft at the upcoming Beijing Daxing airport, as it attempts to get a slice of the lucrative market out of China’s capital.
The SkyTeam carrier says it will connect to the US, Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia, and North Asia from the airport, bringing new connectivity to its existing network.
China Eastern is investing CNY13.2 billion ($1.94 billion) in the new airport, with construction of its base already underway.
It will be an anchor operator of the facility, alongside China Southern Airlines. The carrier is targeting a 40% share of the new airport’s traffic, which would amount to more than 30 million passengers.
FlightGlobal schedules data shows that Shanghai-based China Eastern does not have any direct long-haul services out of Beijing. Its direct services from the city are largely domestic, but it also connects to destinations in Japan and Vietnam, as well as to Saipan and Denpasar.
Daxing airport is targeted to start operations in 2019, and will have the capacity to handle 72 million passengers by 2025.
Star Alliance carrier Air China and its subsidiaries will remains at the existing Beijing Capital International airport.