Gallery: China Opens New AirportsChen Chuanren
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is forecasting that passenger volume in 2021 will reach 590 million, or 90% of 2019 levels, contributed mainly from domestic traffic. CAAC said it will adjust its international passenger flight policy to promote the recovery of flights from abroad, as well as implement an “open policy” for air cargo traffic rights to increase capacity.
In 2021, China wants to build six new airports, bringing the total number of commercial airports to 247. In the last five-year plan between 2016 and 2020, 43 airports were built, 39 of which were regional or provincial hubs. Most notably, passenger volume of airports in the central and western provinces increased by 55.7% more than the national average of 7.9%.
China’s domestic air travel demand is fueled by massive pent-up demand from the upper middle-class segment who are unable to travel abroad for holidays due to border closures. Regardless if international travel resumes, some major airports are already seeing positive growth in key indicators, and Chinese airports are taking the lull period to improve airport infrastructure with minimal disruptions.
China’s latest airport, Qingdao Jiaodong International, is set to open in August, following the June 27 opening of Chengdu Tianfu International Airport and Shanghai Pudong’s satellite terminal, which began operations in 2019.