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SW China hub airport goes into operation

(Xinhua)

08:37, June 29, 2012

KUNMING, June 28 (Xinhua) -- The Kunming Changshui International Airport, a hub airport in southwest China's Yunnan province, officially went into operation Thursday morning with the successful take-off of a plane bound for the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.

The airport, built with a total investment of 23 billion yuan (3.6 billion U.S. dollars), will act as an aviation hub for southeast and west Asia, said Liu Ming, president of Yunnan Airport Group Co., Ltd., owner of the airport.

A total of 17 airlines, including 7 foreign airlines, will operate flights in and out of the airport.

Passenger flights for the provincial capital of Kunming were switched from the 90-year-old Wujiaba International Airport to the Changshui International Airport on Thursday.

The airport, located 24.4 km away from downtown Kunming, will have an initial annual throughput of 38 million passengers and 950,000 tonnes of cargo. It will be able to handle 303,000 flights per year.

The airport's long-term annual throughput will be 65 million passengers and 2.3 million tonnes of cargo, according to the airport's headquarters.

China Eastern Yunnan Airlines, a major provincial air carrier, will launch flight routes to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Jakarta in the near future, said Chen Fumin, deputy Communist Party of China (CPC) secretary of the airline.

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