First international flight at Beijing’s $63 billion mega-airport takes off

The new Daxing airport will help ease the air traffic off the busy Capital airport

Aerial view of Daxing International Airport. WaitForLight/Shutterstock

Last October 27, Beijing’s Daxing airport started operating its first scheduled international flight to Bangkok via China Airways and its first transcontinental flight to London via British Airways, according to CNN.

China Central Television (CCTV), a state-run broadcasting network, said that the new airport currently accommodates 12 flights per day going to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, making up about three percent of the overall air traffic.

By March 2020, they aim to provide 22 flights a day.

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Daxing airport, nicknamed “the starfish” because of its multipronged appearance, was designed by the renowned Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid. It is also home to the biggest airport hotel in the country, Aerotel Beijing.

At the moment, Beijing Capital International Airport ranks as the second busiest airport in the world, falling behind Hartsfield Jackson Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. Meanwhile, Shanghai Pudong Airport snagged the ninth spot.

By 2023 though, calculations reveal that China will surpass the U.S. as the world’s top aviation market.

Chinese officers have already drafted up plans to increase tourism in the country, such as adding a six-day (144-hour) stopover visa for Xi’an, Chengdu, and other cities; allowing tourists to get easier-to-process visas as long as they provide proof of their ongoing journey.