Beijing’s Daxing International Airport looks set to open ahead of schedule, as Chinese aviation authorities are expected to award the airport its operating licence.
In a regular monthly update, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) says it will give its formal approval on 15 September, more than two weeks ahead of Daxing’s stipulated operating date of 30 September.
The airport, Beijing’s second international airport, recently completed its sixth and final round of test runs. In addition, the CAAC states that between 28 and 30 August, it carried out a final round of inspections at the airport and found 157 items that needed rectification.
While the CAAC did not state what these were, it says that once these were rectified, it will approve Daxing’s operating licence. This, the administration states, would likely fall on 15 September.
In its update, the CAAC also alludes to two other carriers that would be operating out of Daxing. While it has been reported that carriers like Finnair, LOT, as well as British Airways will operate at Daxing, the CAAC update indicates that Ethiopian Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, as well as Royal Air Maroc, will fly to Daxing.
It is unclear if the carriers will be splitting their Beijing operations, or switch entirely to Daxing. So far, British Airways has been the only carrier to move its entire Beijing operations to Daxing.
Cirium’s schedules data indicates Ethiopian operates a daily Airbus A350 service between Addis Ababa and Beijing Capital. Malaysia Airlines also has a daily operation from its Kuala Lumpur hub, flown by an A330. Royal Air Maroc does not currently fly to Beijing, but past media reports have indicated the carrier was looking to start services next year.
Among Chinese carriers, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines will use Daxing as a new hub, while Air China will have a smaller presence there as a complement to its main hub at Beijing Capital International airport.