Beijing Daxing International Airport saw off its first flight after a China Southern Airlines' A380 left the airport at 4:22 pm on Wednesday headed to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.
The flight signaled the beginning of operations at the facility after five years of construction, according to the airport authority.
Following the premiere flight, China Eastern Airlines, Air China, Capital Airlines, China United Airlines, Xiamen Air and Hebei Airlines each had one of their flagship airplanes take off from the airport.
"With the airport put into use, China United Airlines, the first to fully move its service into the new airport, will begin operations with 78 flights and handle over 10,000 passenger trips on Thursday," said Qian Yuanyuan, manager of the airport's operations management department.
According to the airport, 66 domestic and overseas carriers including China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Ethiopian Airlines plan to operate out of Daxing airport. Starting in the winter and spring seasons, the airport will serve 116 routes and 112 domestic and foreign destinations.
Li Daxing, the 39-year-old captain of the Capital Airlines' A330-200, said: "Daxing airport adopted many state-of-the-art technologies and obtained the world's leading capability in ensuring safe flights in low visibility conditions, which will boost travel efficiency and take the pressure off Beijing Capital International Airport."
With four runways, 268 parking bays and a vast terminal building covering 700,000 square meters, the new airport is expected to handle 45 million passenger trips a year by 2022 and 72 million by 2025, with international flights accounting for 20 percent and 40 percent of the total respectively.
With more runways planned, the new airport will ultimately handle more than 100 million passengers annually. It's aiming to become the busiest airport in the world in the future and lead Beijing to become an international transit hub, he added.
Li Ze, 54, has traveled a lot between Beijing and his hometown Yan'an in Northwest China's Shaanxi province for business, but his flights from the outdated Beijing Nanyuan Airport used to upset him.
"Before today, we could only take flights to Yan'an from Nanyuan Airport, which looked like a county-level bus station to me," said Li, a liquor wholesaler. "With the opening of Daxing airport, we are able to enjoy a more convenient and comfortable travel experience in such a grand terminal."
The 41.4-kilometer subway connecting Caoqiao subway station in Fengtai district with Daxing airport also went into operation on Wednesday. The train has a top speed of 160 kilometers per hour, much faster than the 90 km/h limit on the Airport Express line to Beijing Capital International Airport.