American Airlines Moving To Beijing Daxing Airport

Filed Under: American

American Airlines will start flying to the world’s biggest airport as of next spring.

American moves to Daxing Airport

American Airlines will be moving its operations from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) to Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) as of March 27, 2021.

As of next spring, American is expected to operate daily flights between Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) and Beijing (PKX) using Boeing 787-8s. Currently American’s only flights to Beijing are cargo flights.

American has scaled back operations in Beijing in recent years, as the airline also used to operate routes to there from both Chicago and Los Angeles, which have been cut.

For those of you not familiar with Daxing Airport, it opened in September 2019, and it’s Beijing’s new mega-airport:

  • The terminal at the airport is the second largest airport terminal in the world (after New Istanbul Airport), with over 11 million square feet
  • The new airport already has four runways, with plans to have seven runways in the future

American is moving to Beijing Daxing Airport

As American’s Chief Revenue Officer, Vasu Raja, describes this move:

“Moving to Daxing International Airport in Beijing when flights return in March is going to offer our customers access to a state-of-the-art airport, with ease of connections as we plan to codeshare with our strategic partner, China Southern. While there is so much uncertainty in travel right now, we want to be well positioned to serve our customers, shareholders and team members with the best service, convenience and products all over the world when they’re ready. Daxing is very much a part of that bright future.”

American will fly a 787-8 between DFW and PKX

Have other US airlines moved to Daxing Airport?

In late 2019, Delta was the first US airline to announce service to Daxing Airport. That was supposed to start as of March 2020, but not surprisingly coronavirus delayed that a bit. As Delta resumes passenger service to Beijing in the coming weeks, the flights are scheduled to operate to Daxing Airport.

Delta is the first US airline to move to PKX

United, on the other hand, won’t be flying to Daxing Airport anytime soon. That’s because Air China is maintaining most operations at Capital Airport, so since both airlines are Star Alliance carriers, it makes sense for them to be co-located as much as possible. Air China’s presence at Daxing Airport is minimal.

United is maintaining operations at PEK

Bottom line

American will be the second US airline to move to Daxing Airport in Beijing. The new airport looks great and I’m hoping to check it out some day, though who knows when travel to China will be possible again…

For anyone who has visited Daxing Airport since it opened, what was your experience like?

  1. Wandering Scholar (nee Shanghai Flyer) has a review of flying out of this airport on YouTube. It seems like there is a good rail connection to central Beijing and the lounges seem nice. I think this may well be an upgrade for AA passengers.

  2. I live in Beijing, relatively centrally located (for foreigners). It takes me 20-30 mins to PEK, but would take me 75-90 to PKX. The connection from the Central Business District and for major companies is bad, basically only by car. There is a new train from PKX towards the city, but it stops at only one subway line which still takes additional time on top of the train ride.
    Seeing more and more international airlines moving to PKX doesn’t help… Probably saving some money there as the airport is huge and empty.

  3. I visited PKX this past January, and it was an enormous upgrade to PEK along all dimensions, including: Terminal architecture; sense of place; amenities and restaurants; and especially with regards to transport into the city. PKX is on the southwest side of the city, on the opposite side of town from PEK, in a relatively undeveloped area, whereas the PEK – downtown corridor is one of the most congested urban areas in the world. It took me 20 minutes to ride to PKX from downtown in an empty bus, whereas PEK to the city took 90+ hellish minutes in a bus 100% full with coughing people, and luggage blocking the aisles (note my HU flight arrived into PEK Terminal 1, and there was no train to PKX yet at the time, so bus was the only way to connect). People actually post selfies from PKX, because the common areas are so cool-looking. I’ll choose PKX over PEK whenever possible from now on.

  4. I’m sure the Bankruptcy will end the route before it starts. I don’t feel sorry for them because they decided to waste all their profit on buy backs vs paying down debt.

  5. I don’t see the possibility of AA actually resuming service to China any time soon, not to mention DL’s return to Beijing is aimed at next summer as well, and even that is still quite optimistic.

  6. @Lars

    Big deal. Take a 300RMB taxi ride.

    The main terminal at PEK was nice but when American moved to a secondary terminal it felt like LaGuardia.

  7. Not the cost but more about the time. It takes much less time to go to Capital and is much smaller and more convenient. And what you forget about the 300 RMB is that it is relative pricing. 300 RMB for an airport taxi ride in China is more than three times that to Capital and for China in comparison to the distance in other cities is expensive.

  8. Lars, going from chaoyang to beijing xi probably would only take 30 mins and train is 20 mins… pretty easy. But not everyone lives in cbd/chaoyang.

  9. It is the greatest airport I’ve visited by far. I also visited new IST, but I think PKX has better lounges, more opened stores, and 5G signals and automated services, including ID check and check baggage.

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