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Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA)
estimates that passenger numbers grew
11.5 percent in 2010 from the previous
year to 73 million. The airport predicts
growth will average 10.5 percent from
2011 through to 2015.
Domestic traffic is expected to account
for 79-80 percent of passengers handled.
Cargo volumes are forecast to leap by as
much as 50.7 percent over the five-year
period from 2.02 million tonnes in 2011 to
3.05 million tonnes in 2015.
BCIA chairman Dong Zhiyi says the
surge in passenger traffic is due to the
rebound in global demand and the rapid
growth of China's domestic air-travel market.
Over the past decade, traffic at BCIA grew 13
percent per annum.
"BCIA will continue to work closely with
airlines to leverage on strategic alliances and
marketing to enhance hub development,
expand route networks and work towards the
facility achieving its goal of becoming a large
international aviation hub by 2015," Dong says.
Operating with three terminals and three
runways, BCIA will reach its annual capacity
limit of 82 million passengers in about the first
quarter of 2012. "The airport will then have to
deal with congestion until the second Beijing
international airport opens in late 2015 or early
2016," Dong adds.
BCIA is currently facing the dual challenge
of improving the 'China Service' brand while
continually enhancing competitiveness.
While the airport operator's management
expertise has improved considerably over the
past two years, Dong acknowledges that there
is room for improvement. "We have five years
to improve and aim to be the best airport in the
Asia-Pacific in terms of management, service
and product offering by 2015," Dong says.
Construction of Beijing's second airport
is expected to start within the next two
months in the city's Daxing district. The
new facility will have handling capacity
for 100 million passengers a year, with an
initial two terminals and three runways.
The Civil Aviation Administration of
China (CAAC) plans for the new airport to
handle international flights into and out
of the Chinese capital. BCIA will then be
dedicated to domestic services and possibly
some regional flights to Korea and Japan.
Dong says Beijing needs a second airport
since BCIA will struggle to cope with
anticipated future passenger traffic growth,
despite having three operational runways and
The airport's massive Terminal 3, with a
floor space of 1.3 million square metres, is the
biggest in the world -- bigger than London
Heathrow's Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4 combined.
Eighty passenger airlines operate at BCIA,
offering 1,136 flights a week to 95 international
destinations in 54 countries. Domestic airlines
operate 4,165 flights a week from BCIA to 113
Rapid growth predicted for Beijing Capital International Airport
Wataniya Airways plans expansion
Kuwait-based Wataniya Airways plans to
expand its current fleet of seven, single-aisle
Airbus A320 aircraft to 12, including the
acquisition of widebody aircraft over the next
The expansion is part of the airline's goal to
launch services to new destinations in India and
other points in Asia that are currently being
Wataniya's Chief Executive Officer George
Cooper says that while the airline's main
focus is on Kuwait and the Middle East, it is
keen to operate to India and certain other
markets in Asia.
Wataniya now operates from Kuwait
International Airport's exclusive Sheikh Saad
Terminal, a private facility. The carrier has a
network of 11 destinations covering Alexandria,
Amman, Bahrain, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus,
Dubai, Istanbul, Jeddah, Rome and Vienna.
The carrier launched thrice-weekly flights on
the Beirut-Vienna route on 31 October and is
looking at making this a daily service in future.
Wataniya has a code-sharing agreement with
Austrian Airlines on 19 European routes from
Wataniya Airways took advantage of the
Kuwait government's aviation liberalisation
policy to set up the company in 2006. The
carrier received its air operating certificate in July
2008 and commenced operations in January
The airline is the only one in Kuwait to
operate flights from a private terminal and is
listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange. The sole
premium airline operating in Kuwait, Wataniya's
A320 aircraft are configured in a two-class
layout, offering business-first and premium-
BEIJING CAPITAL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Beijing's airport will hit its capacity limits in early 2012.
Wataniya now operates to 11 destinations
in the Middle East and Europe.
AsianAviation | DECEMBER 2010 / JANUARY 2011 19
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