Recently, major airports across China have released their 2023 performance reports. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport has secured its position as China's top passenger airport for the fourth consecutive year, with over 63 million passengers. Following closely are Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport in second and third place. Shenzhen Bao'an Airport has reclaimed its status with an annual passenger throughput exceeding 50 million, breaking 50 million on domestic routes for the first time at 50.25 million, ranking fourth nationwide. Both Guangdong airports are among the top ten in the country.
Why Baiyun International Airport leads the way?
Firstly, this success is attributed to the rapid recovery of domestic travel in China. According to the Guangzhou government's work report released on January 15th, 2023, the city welcomed 230 million visitors in 2023, a significant increase from 2022. During the recent Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays alone, Guangzhou hosted nearly 9.2 million out-of-town visitors, marking a remarkable 107% growth compared to 2022.
Secondly, the Greater Bay Area is one of China's most economically active regions. Serving as a core engine and crucial transportation hub within the Greater Bay Area, Guangzhou attracts a considerable number of business professionals. Compared to tourism, the proportion of travelers conducting business activities in Guangzhou and its surrounding cities is likely higher. As the only airport in Guangzhou and one of the largest in the Greater Bay Area, Baiyun International Airport is well-positioned to handle this influx of passengers.
Additionally, Baiyun International Airport's proactive efforts have played a significant role. Over the past year, the airport facilitated the country's first "quarantine-free" inbound flight and, following the nationwide resumption of outbound group tourism by travel agencies, hosted the first outbound tourist groups. Collaborating with airlines, the airport expanded and promoted international routes, contributing to the stability of the aviation industry supply chain in the Greater Bay Area. By the end of last year, Baiyun International Airport, in partnership with airlines, added, resumed, or increased frequencies on over 100 international passenger routes, including intercontinental routes like Los Angeles, Rome, and Paris, with over 1,000 international and regional passenger flights weekly.
Similarly, Bao'an Airport achieved significant milestones in 2023. With a total annual passenger throughput of 52.73 million, it exceeded 50 million on domestic routes for the first time, reaching 50.25 million, representing nearly a 7% growth compared to 2019.
As the 2024 Spring Festival approaches, and with the Spring Festival travel season about to commence, officials from the Civil Aviation Administration of China predict that passenger volumes during the 2024 Spring Festival transport period will reach 80 million, averaging 2 million daily, potentially setting a new historical record. In terms of the domestic market, popular routes are expected to concentrate on the four major city clusters of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (Jing-Jin-Ji), the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), and the Pearl River Delta Greater Bay Area (PRD).