China Eastern Airlines plans eventually to station 200 aircraft at the new Beijing Daxing International Airport that is scheduled to open this year, chairman Liu Shaoyong said.

The company is assuming it will take 40% of traffic at Daxing, Liu notes that, given the airport’s intended capacity of 72 million passengers a year in 2025, the forecast market share implies 28.8 million passengers for China Eastern.

“This is comparable with our traffic at Shanghai Pudong International,” Liu said, referring to one of the carrier’s two base airports in its home town. So Daxing International represents “China Eastern’s greatest opportunity for development.”

Speaking to local media on the sidelines of China’s annual meeting of Parliament, Liu did not say when the fleet based at Daxing International would reach 200 aircraft. 

For the initial stage of development at the airport China Eastern is spending CNY13.2 billion ($1.97 billion), part of a total investment plan exceeding CNY120 billion, Liu said, without giving details.

China Eastern and China Southern Airlines will be the main airlines at Daxing International.

Bradley Perrett, perrett@aviationweek.com

Research by Ryan Wang