China / Regional

World-class aviation hub to take off

By Zhuan Ti (China Daily) Updated: 2016-11-18 13:34

Chengdu, the largest aviation hub in central and western China, is closely tied to the world by many international air routes.

Air China launched a direct route between Chengdu and Sydney on Nov 11, the second direct flight between Chengdu and Australia after the Chengdu-Melbourne route.

The direct flight runs three roundtrips a week, departing from Chengdu every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, and from Sydney every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Flights are by Airbus 330-200, and a one-way trip takes about 13 hours.

On Nov 7, the new Airbus A350- 900 arrived in Chengdu for the fi rst time and went on display at the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport the next day.

Sichuan Airlines announced in September that it will introduce four A350-900 aircraft to operate its new international flights from Chengdu, including a direct fl ight to New York. The aircraft are expected to be in use by 2017.

In December, Sichuan Airlines will launch a non-stop route between Chengdu and Dubai, the third route linking Chengdu to the Middle East. In the same month, it will also open an international fl ight to Los Angeles.

The surging number of international fl ights into and out of Chengdu refl ects the city’s rapid development.

The Chengdu government, together with Sichuan Province Airport Group, signed agreements with six airlines to open nine non-stop air routes departing from Chengdu during the 22nd World Route Development Forum, which was held in Chengdu in September.

The direct routes were planned to open within a year, according to the agreements.

Shuangliu airport has opened nearly 100 international routes, connecting with more than 70 international cities, including San Francisco, Paris, Frankfurt, Melbourne and Doha.

To build itself into a world-class aviation hub, in May Chengdu began construction of a new airport, Chengdu Tianfu International Airport. It will start operating in 2020.

The long-term target for the airport is to have six runways, with an annual capacity of 90 million passengers and 2 million metric tons of cargo.

According to the city’s plan, Chengdu will continue to expand its international airline networks. It is expected to have 70 direct international fl ights by 2020.


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