Beijing Capital Airport for a Pain-Free Flying Experience
The Beijing airport is located 32 km northeast from the center of Beijing city. This is the main international airport serving Beijing. The Beijing Capital International Airport Company Limited is operating the Beijing Capital and owns it. The company is itself owned by the state. In 2009 it has become the most active airport in Asia in terms of the passenger traffic. In the recent years it has even become the busiest and the second-most busiest airport in the world. The number of flights recorded at the Beijing Capital were 557,167 in 2012 that ranked 6th in the world. The airport serves cargo traffic too and had become the 13th busiest airport in the world in 2012 by trafficking 1,787,027 tones. It is the core of the operation of Air China that covers approximately 120 destinations in the world from Beijing alone. It is the main airport for Hainan and China Southern Airlines as well. To incorporate the rapidly growing air traffic, the airport opened its huge new terminal in 2008, in time for the Olympic Games. It is the second largest airport terminal of the world and by area the sixth largest building. Beijing Capital comprises of over 3700 acres of land.
The airport was inaugurated on 2 March 1958. In the beginning the airport consisted of only one terminal that is still in use as a VIP lounge and for operation of chartered flights. Later a new bigger building was opened on 1 January 1980 which could accommodate 10 to 12 airplanes. By the 1990s this terminal felt too short for the growing passenger traffic and was soon closed after the opening of terminal 2. The first international flight the Beijing Capital airport served was of Pakistan International Airlines from Islamabad. In celebration to 50 years since China found its independence the airport was further extended and a new terminal was opened and named terminal 2. Terminal 1 reopened on 20 September 2004 and was dedicated to a few airlines including China Southern Airlines. Terminal 2 still served the domestic and international flights for other airlines. In October 2007, a third runway opened to divide the load of on the other two runways.
In preparation for Beijing Olympics 2008, third terminal was opened. The expansion of the third terminal included third runway, a rail link to the center of the city and a new terminal added to the Beijing Capital. The expansion made the gigantic airport the biggest manmade structure in terms of the area covered. The funds for the expansion of the airport came from the Chinese ally Japan of 30 billion yen and a 500-million-euro loan from the European investment Bank. It is the largest loan granted in Asia by the European Investment Bank. Due to the increasing load on the Beijing Capital another airport at Daxing is being planned and then Beijing Capital will only be serving its domestic passengers. The new airport is expected to start its operations from 2018.
There are many airlines operating from the Beijing Capital that are connecting domestic and international destinations all over the world. The airlines include Air Canada, Air China, Air France, Air Mauritius, American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, Dragonair, Emirates, Iran Air, Korean Airlines, Lufthansa, Malaysian Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Qatar Airways, Spring Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, Thai Airlines, United Airlines, Yakutia Airlines and many more.
The airport received many awards in the last few years for its excellent services. These included:
· World’s best airport by Conde Nest Traveler Magazine in 2009
· Best 3rd Airport Worldwide of the Airport Service Quality Awards by Airports Council International in 2011
· Asia Pacific’s best Airport by ASQ in 2013
Routes and Destination
The enormous airport of Beijing covers a big number of domestic destinations. These include Guangzhou, Shenyang, Chengdu, Changzhou, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Lijiang, Xuzhou, Yancheng, Yangzhou, jieyang etc. Among the international countries that are reachable through the Beijing Capital there is India, Pakistan, Switzerland, London, Mauritius, Singapore, Japan, Germany, France, Malaysia, Vienna, Dubai, Cairo, Moscow, Istanbul and many more.
How to check-in
When travelling through the great Beijing Capital airport passengers can simply check in hours or even a day before their departure flight. There are 292 check-in counters at the airport. Furthermore there are check-in counters of respective airlines at the airport where travelers can comfortably check-in manually with the aid of the airline staff.
The luggage system at Beijing Capital is very fast. There is the capacity of handling 19,200 pieces per hour. For international travelers the luggage can be transferred within five minutes from one terminal to another. The arriving passengers can also retrieve their baggage within 4 to 5 minutes after the airlines unload.
It is always preferred to check if the flight is on time and the seat has been confirmed from the airport help service or from the airline staff.
The tickets can be booked well in advance from the airport or online. The staff at the airport is highly trained and always ready to answer any queries.