When in 2015 Zaha Hadid Architects and ADP Ingeniérie unveiled designs for the “world’s largest airport passenger terminal” in Beijing, much of the political maneuvering to allow it live up to its claim remained unclear. But the situation has since changed, Bloomberg reports, with the Chinese authorities designating this new terminal—which will compete with the capital’s existing airport—as “the hub for members of the SkyTeam alliance.”
Like ancient warlords, China’s three biggest airlines have dominated their regional cities: Air China Ltd. controlling Beijing, China Eastern Airlines Corp. holding sway in the financial center of Shanghai, and China Southern Airlines Co. ruling the roost down in export gateway Guangzhou. Until now.
This means that the new passenger terminal will serve China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines respectively and exclusively, allowing the two carriers “to capture 40 percent of the airport’s passengers” and thereby acquire “coveted time slots to Europe and the US.” Air China Ltd., meanwhile, will be met by far stiffer competition in and out of the Chinese capital, which is set to open in 2019.
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