China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines are planning to start Beijing services to London and Paris late this year from the Chinese capital’s new airport, according to sources.

The planned services indicate the degree of new competition for Air China that Beijing Daxing International Airport will introduce when it opens Sept. 30. Until now, most long-haul routes, like London and Paris from Beijing, were automatically reserved for Air China, although China Eastern operates to Amsterdam Schiphol from Beijing Capital International. 

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has agreed to China Southern flying between Daxing and London Heathrow (LHR) and China Eastern operating to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), the sources said. 

Air China operates three Beijing flights a day to LHR and British Airways one. Air China and Air France each fly twice daily between Beijing and CDG.

China Eastern and China Southern each aim to start their flights this year and will be anchor operators at Daxing.

China Eastern and China Southern are both SkyTeam global alliance members and CAAC is requiring them to move to the new airport, while non-Chinese members can choose their future location in Beijing. Air France has not said whether it will move. China Southern is a has announced it will leave SkyTeam this year. Air China is a member of the Star Alliance.

China Eastern connects Paris with hometown Shanghai and Kunming. It also has permission to fly to Paris from Qingdao. China Southern flies to London from its home city, Guangzhou, as well as from Wuhan and Sanya.

Bradley Perrett,

Research by Ryan Wang