China’s newest Chengdu Tianfu International Airport (TFU) officially started operations on June 27, 2021. 

The first phase of China’s newest mega airport construction cost about 70 billion yuan ($10.8 billion) and took five years to complete. The TFU airport, which has three runways and two terminals, has the capacity to handle 60 million passengers annually. 

In the future, China plans to expand Chengdu Tianfu airport to having a total of six runways and four terminals, with a capacity to serve approximately 90 million passengers each year.

Chengdu Tianfu International Airport is the largest civil aviation project in China after the construction of Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX). TFU airport is expected to become Southwest China’s major international air hub, as it would mostly focus on international routes. As an international hub, Tianfu makes Chengdu the third Chinese city to have two international airports, after Beijing and Shanghai.

The airport will be a new international hub for the state-owned carrier Air China, which officially launched its first flight from TFU to PEK on June 27, 2021. 

China’s national airline invested 6.1 billion yuan ($944 million) in the Tianfu base. The project was approved in 2016 and began construction in December 2018. To date, it is the largest infrastructure project the airline has invested in. Air China’s new base at TFU airport includes an aircraft maintenance facility, air cargo hub, and aviation food production center. Adding to that, Air China’s Tianfu base includes supporting infrastructure: offices, hostels, and hangars. 

Air China announced that it had completed building its base in yet-to-be-opened Chengdu Tianfu International Airport (TFU).

Another major Chinese air carrier, China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA), launched its maiden flight from China’s newest airport on June 27, 2021. China Eastern Airlines Boeing 777-300ER, registered as B-2002, took off from TFU, taking 310 passengers to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA). China Eastern is reportedly planning to relocate all of Chengdu operations from the current Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) to Tianfu airport.