Shuangli International Airport overtook Shenzhen's airport in passenger and freight volume last year to become the fourth largest aviation hub in China.
The increase in numbers prompted China's Civil Aviation Administration to classify Shuangliu Airport among the ranks of those in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou airports and marking the first time any region apart from the eastern port areas has boasted an aviation hub on such a scale.
More than 29 million passengers traveled through Shuangliu Airport in 2011, a figure nearly 8.3 million more than Shenzhen's. Nearby Kunming's saw 22.3 million passengers in 2011, Xi'an, 21 million, Chongqing, 19 million, and Wuhan, 12.5 million. Close to 4.7 million tons of goods were transported through Shuangliu Airport, more than Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport.
In an effort to secure its status as a national-level aviation hub and gateway to the west, Shuangliu Airport plans to open more commercial ventures within the airport and a second runway.
In recent years, Chengdu Shuangliu has added to its list of operators a number of both passenger and cargo airways, including All Nippon Airways (ANA), Etihad Airlines, Eva Air, Far East Airways, UPS, and FedEx.
Nonstop flights to Tokyo, Abu Dhabi, and Bangalore have been added, as have new lines to once remote cities in China's west, such as Jiayuguan, Gansu; Xigaze, Tibet; Kashgar, Xinjiang; and Chifeng and Ordos in Inner Mongolia. Chengdu has been added to some major international cargo routes as well, such as Chengdu-Luxembourg-Prague; Vienna-Milan-Chengdu; Seoul-Chengdu-Singapore-Seoul; Cologne-Chengdu; Warsaw-Chengdu; and Almaty-Chengdu-Shanghai-Chicago-New York.
Currently Chengdu Shuangliu Airport boasts flights to 128 domestic and 33 international destinations including Amsterdam, Abu Dhabi, Seoul, Tokyo, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Bangalore, and Singapore.
The airport's new T2 terminal is scheduled to be put into operation this year, increasing the surface area 500,000 square meters and the yearly passenger capacity to 50 million with its new dual-terminal and dual-runway layout.
Image source: qq