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China’s Chengdu Tianfu International Airport has officially started its operations. Its inaugural flight was operated by Sichuan Airlines, which took off at 11:10 a.m. on Sunday, bound for Beijing.
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, has become the third city to have two international airports, joining Shanghai and Beijing. Tianfu is the largest civil transport airport under the 13th Five-Year Plan from 2016 to 2020.
Phase One, including three runways and two terminals, has been constructed at the cost of approximately 70 billion yuan ($10.8 billion). Once the second phase is completed, Tianfu Airport will have 6 runways and house terminals taking up 1.26 million square metres.
“The new airport in Chengdu was needed to accommodate continued rapid growth,” said aviation analyst Brendan Sobie. “China’s domestic market has already fully recovered from the pandemic and will continue to grow rapidly. Given the size of the city and its central location in China, Chengdu is very well-positioned to benefit.”
Chengdu Airlines, Spring Airlines and Lucky Air will also be launching services at the airport over the coming days.