Beijing Capital International Airport

Aerial view of PEK Terminal 1 and 2
Airport typePublic
OperatorBeijing Capital International Airport Company Limited
LocationChaoyang & Shunyi Districts, Beijing
Opened1 March 1958
Hub forAir ChinaChina Eastern AirlinesChina Southern AirlinesHainan Airlines
Focus city forSichuan AirlinesShenzhen AirlinesShandong Airlines
Elevation AMSL116 ft / 35 m
Coordinates40°04′21″N 116°35′51″ECoordinates: 40°04′21″N 116°35′51″E

Beijing Capital International Airport (IATA: PEK, ICAO: ZBAA) is the main international airport serving Beijing. It is located 32 km (20 mi) northeast of Beijing’s city center, in an enclave of Chaoyang District and the surroundings of that enclave in suburban Shunyi District. The airport is owned and operated by the Beijing Capital International Airport Company Limited, a state-controlled company. The airport’s IATA Airport code, PEK, is based on the city’s former romanized name, Peking.

Beijing Capital has rapidly ascended in rankings of the world’s busiest airports in the past decade. It had become the busiest airport in Asia in terms of passenger traffic and total traffic movements by 2009. It has been the world’s second busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic since 2010. The airport registered 557,167 aircraft movements (take-offs and landings), ranking 6th in the world in 2012.  In terms of cargo traffic, Beijing airport has also witnessed rapid growth. By 2012, the airport had become the 13th busiest airport in the world by cargo traffic, registering 1,787,027 tons.

From September 2019, all Oneworld & Skyteam flights from Beijing Capital International Airport were transferred to the new Beijing Daxing International Airport except Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.

Ground view of Terminals 1 (foreground) and Terminal 2 (with blue roof, in background) in 2005.
Source: Yaoleilei


Ground view of Terminals 1 (foreground) and Terminal 2 (with blue roof, in background) in 2005. Terminal 2’s air traffic control tower in the background has since been demolished

The airport has three terminals. Terminal 1 serves the domestic routes of Hainan Airlines and its subsidiaries (while its international, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan flights operate from Terminal 2). Terminal 2 serves China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, SkyTeam (excluding China Airlines, which uses Terminal 3), Oneworld members American Airlines and SriLankan Airlines, and also other domestic and international flights. Terminal 3, the newest terminal, serves Air China, Star Alliance, Oneworld members (excluding American Airlines and SriLankan Airlines, which uses Terminal 2), plus SkyTeam member China Airlines, and some other domestic and international flights that do not operate from either Terminals 1 or 2.

Terminal 1

Terminal 1, with 60,000 m2 (650,000 sq ft) of space, opened on 1 January 1980, and replaced the smaller existing terminal, which had been in operation since 1958. Terminal 1 was closed for renovation from 1 November 1999 to 20 September 2004, during which all airlines operated from Terminal 2. Featuring 16 gates, it was the operational base for the domestic routes of China Southern Airlines and a few other airlines such as XiamenAir and Chongqing Airlines, and was originally planned to handle domestic traffic excluding those to Hong Kong and Macau.

With the opening of Terminal 3, the terminal was closed for light refurbishment, and its airlines were moved to Terminal 2 on 20 May 2008.  Terminal 1 reopened for a second time on 27 June 2008, and became the operational base for all domestic flights operated by the HNA Group including those of Hainan Airlines, Grand China Air, Beijing Capital Airlines and Tianjin Airlines, while all HNA Group’s international, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan flights remain in Terminal 2.

BCIA Terminal 1
Source: 颐园新居

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 opened on 1 November 1999, with a floor area of 336,000 m2 (3,620,000 sq ft).  This terminal was used to replace Terminal 1 while the latter was undergoing renovation, cramping all airlines despite being far bigger than Terminal 1. It can handle twenty aircraft at docks connecting directly to the terminal building. Prior to the opening of Terminal 3, all international flights (and the majority of domestic flights) operated from this terminal. This terminal now houses China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines (all international, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan flights), SkyTeam (excluding China Airlines, which uses Terminal 3), Oneworld members American Airlines and SriLankan Airlines, Air Koryo, and other domestic and international flights other than those operated by Air China, Shanghai Airlines, Star Alliance members and Oneworld members. A gate capable of handling the A380 (gate 21) was also built at the terminal.

Terminals 1 and 2 are linked by a public walkway that takes about 10–15 minutes to traverse. Shuttle buses connect all three terminals.

BCIA Terminal 2
Source: 颐园新居

Terminal 3

Construction of Terminal 3 started on 28 March 2004, and the terminal opened in two stages. Trial operations commenced on 29 February 2008, when seven airlines including El Al Israel Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Shandong Airlines and Sichuan Airlines moved into the terminal. Twenty other airlines followed when the terminal became fully operational on 26 March 2008. Currently, it mainly houses Air China, Star Alliance, Oneworld (excluding American Airlines and SriLankan Airlines, which uses Terminal 2), SkyTeam member China Airlines, and other domestic and international flights that are not operated from Terminal 2. Star Alliance members LOT Polish Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, United Airlines, Air Canada, Turkish Airlines, Thai Airways International, Singapore Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, and Air China use Terminal 3-E as part of the Move Under One Roof program to co-locate alliance members.

Terminal 3 was designed by a consortium of Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO), UK Architect Foster and Partners, and ARUP. Lighting was designed by UK lighting architects Speirs and Major Associates. The budget for the expansion is US$3.5 billion. Much larger in size and scale than the other two terminals, Terminal 3 was the largest airport terminal-building complex in the world to be built in a single phase, with 986,000 m2 (10,610,000 sq ft) in total floor area at its opening.  It features a main passenger terminal (Terminal 3C) and two satellite concourses (Terminal 3D and Terminal 3E), all of the five floors above ground and two underground, with the letters “A and B” omitted to avoid confusion with the existing Terminals 1 and 2. Only two concourses were initially opened, namely, Terminal 3C dedicated for domestic flights and Terminal 3E for international flights. Terminal 3D officially opened on 18 April 2013. The newly opened concourse is temporarily used solely by Air China for some of its domestic flights.

Terminal 3 of the BCIA is currently the second-largest airport passenger terminal building in the world. Its title as the world’s largest passenger terminal was surrendered on 14 October 2008 to Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3, which has 1,713,000 m2 (18,440,000 sq ft) of floor space.

On 20 July 2013, a man in a wheelchair detonated small homemade explosives in Terminal 3 of the Beijing International Airport. The bomber, reported to be Ji Zhongxing, was injured and taken to a hospital for his injuries. No other people were hurt.

BCIA Terminal 3

Airlines and destinations


Air AlgérieAlgiers
AirAsia XKuala Lumpur–International
Air AstanaAlmaty, Nur-Sultan
Air CanadaToronto–Pearson, Vancouver
Air ChinaAksu, Athens, Auckland, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Baotou, Barcelona, Bayannur, Beihai, Budapest, Busan, Changchun, Changsha, Changzhi, Changzhou, Chaoyang, Chengdu, Chiang Mai, Chifeng, Chongqing, Copenhagen, Dali, Dalian, Dandong, Daqing, Datong,  Dazhou, Delhi, Dubai–International, Dunhuang, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Fuyang, Fuyuan, Fuzhou, Ganzhou, Geneva, Guangyuan, Guangzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Haikou, Hailar, Hami, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Harbin, Havana, Hefei, Hiroshima, Ho Chi Minh City, Hohhot, Hong Kong, Hotan, Houston–Intercontinental, Huangshan, Huizhou, Islamabad, Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Jeju, Jiamusi, Jiansanjiang, Jieyang, Jingdezhen, Jinggangshan,  Johannesburg–O.R. Tambo, Karachi, Karamay, Kashgar, Korla, Kuala Lumpur–International, Kunming, Lanzhou, Lhasa, Lijiang, Linfen, Liupanshui, Liuzhou,  London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid, Manila, Melbourne, Mianyang, Milan–Malpensa, Minsk, Montréal–Trudeau, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Mudanjiang, Mumbai, Munich, Nagoya–Centrair, Naha, Nanchang, Nanjing, Nanning, Nantong, Newark, New York–JFK, Nice, Ningbo, Nur-Sultan, Ordos, Osaka–Kansai, Panama City–Tocumen, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Pyongyang, Qingdao, Qiqihar, Rome–Fiumicino, San Francisco, Sanya, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Sapporo–Chitose, Sendai, Seoul–Gimpo, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Hongqiao, Shanghai–Pudong, Shaoyang, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Shihezi, Shiyan, Singapore, Songyuan,  Stockholm–Arlanda, Sydney, Taipei–Taoyuan, Taiyuan, Taizhou, Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita, Tonghua, Tongliao, Turpan, Ulaanbaatar, Ulanhot, Ulanqab, Urumqi,  Vancouver, Vienna, Warsaw–Chopin, Washington–Dulles, Weihai, Wenzhou, Wuhai, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi’an, Xichang, Xilinhot, Xining,  Yancheng, Yangon, Yangzhou, Yanji, Yantai, Yibin, Yichang, Yinchuan, Yining, Yiwu, Yuncheng, Zhangjiajie, Zhanjiang, Zhengzhou, Zhuhai, Zunyi–Maotai, Zunyi–Xinzhou
Air FranceParis–Charles de Gaulle
Air KoryoPyongyang
Air MacauMacau
All Nippon AirwaysOsaka–Kansai, Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita
American AirlinesDallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles
Asiana AirlinesSeoul–Gimpo, Seoul–Incheon
Austrian AirlinesVienna
Azerbaijan AirlinesBaku
Cambodia Angkor AirSiem Reap, Sihanoukville
Cathay DragonHong Kong
Cathay PacificHong Kong
Cebu PacificKalibo, Manila
China AirlinesKaohsiung, Taipei–Taoyuan
China Eastern AirlinesBaoshan, Changzhou, Chengdu, Chiang Mai, Chongqing, Dali, Dalian, Delhi, Denpasar/Bali, Dongying, Enshi, Fukuoka,  Guangzhou, Haikou, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hefei, Huai’an, Jiagedaqi, Jiayuguan,  Jining, Kunming, Lanzhou, Lianyungang, Linyi, Luoyang, Lüliang, Luzhou, Mangshi, Nanchang, Nanjing, Naypyidaw, Ningbo, Pu’er, Qianjiang, Qingdao, Saipan,  Shanghai–Hongqiao, Shanghai–Pudong, Shenzhen,  Sydney, Taiyuan, Tengchong, Vientiane, Wenzhou, Wuhan, Wuxi, Xiamen, Xi’an,  Xining, Xishuangbanna, Yantai, Yinchuan, Zhangye, Zhaotong
Seasonal: Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi
China Southern AirlinesAmsterdam, Beihai, Changchun, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian,  Ganzhou, Guangzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Haikou, Hangzhou, Harbin, Heihe, Korla,  Kunming, Mohe, Nanning, Phnom Penh, Sanya, Seoul–Gimpo, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Hongqiao, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Tashkent, Tbilisi, Tehran–Imam Khomeini, Urumqi, Wuhan, Xi’an, Yining, Yiwu, Zhangjiajie, Zhuhai
China Southern Airlines
operated by Chongqing Airlines
Chongqing, Diqing
Dalian AirlinesDalian
Donghai AirlinesShenzhen, Yichang
El AlTel Aviv
Ethiopian AirlinesAddis Ababa
Etihad AirwaysAbu Dhabi (ends 31 May 2020), Nagoya–Centrair (ends 31 May 2020)
EVA AirTaipei–Taoyuan
Fiji AirwaysNadi
Grand China AirGuilin, Harbin, Sanya, Yinchuan
Hainan AirlinesAlmaty, Anqing, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Berlin–Tegel, Boston, Brussels, Changchun, Changsha, Chengdu, Chicago–O’Hare, Chongqing, Dalian, Dongying, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Haikou, Hailar, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hohhot, Irkutsk, Jiamusi, Kunming, Lanzhou, Manchester,  Manzhouli, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Mudanjiang, Nanchang, Nanning, Ningbo, Osaka–Kansai, Oslo–Gardermoen, Phuket, Saint Petersburg, San Jose (CA), Sanming, Sanya, Seattle/Tacoma, Shanghai–Hongqiao, Shanghai–Pudong, Shenzhen, Taipei–Taoyuan, Tel Aviv, Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson, Urumqi, Weifang, Wenzhou, Wuhai, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi’an, Xining, Yan’an, Yichang, Yulin
Seasonal: Dublin
Hong Kong AirlinesHong Kong
Japan AirlinesTokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita
Jeju AirDaegu
Jiangxi AirNanchang
Korean AirBusan, Jeju, Seoul–Gimpo, Seoul–Incheon
Loong AirHangzhou
LOT Polish AirlinesWarsaw–Chopin
Lucky AirMangshi, Tengchong
LufthansaFrankfurt, Munich
Mahan AirTehran–Imam Khomeini
MIAT Mongolian AirlinesUlaanbaatar
NordStar AirlinesKrasnoyarsk–Yemelyanovo
Pakistan International AirlinesIslamabad, Lahore, Tokyo–Narita
Philippine AirlinesKalibo, Manila
Qatar AirwaysDoha
Scandinavian AirlinesCopenhagen
Shandong AirlinesChongqing, Fuzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Jinan, Nanyang, Qingdao, Rizhao, Weihai,  Xiamen, Yantai, Zhuhai
Shanghai AirlinesHangzhou, Shanghai–Hongqiao
Shenzhen AirlinesChengdu, Nanning, Nantong, Osaka–Kansai, Quanzhou, Shenzhen, Wuxi, Xiangyang, Yichun
Sichuan AirlinesBaise, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Panzhihua, Sanya, Urumqi, Wanzhou,  Xichang, Xishuangbanna, Zhongwei
Singapore AirlinesSingapore
Sky Angkor AirlinesSiem Reap
SriLankan AirlinesColombo–Bandaranaike
Thai AirAsiaSeasonal: Chiang Mai
Thai AirwaysBangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Phuket
Tibet AirlinesLhasa
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul
Turkmenistan AirlinesAshgabat
United AirlinesChicago–O’Hare, Newark, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles
Uzbekistan AirwaysTashkent
Vietnam AirlinesHanoi
Seasonal: Nha Trang
Beijing Capital International Airport Bird’s-eye view
Source: AirportStudio


Air China CargoAnchorage, Atlanta, Chicago–O’Hare, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Nanjing, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Tokyo–Narita, Taipei–Taoyuan
Air KoryoPyongyang
Asiana CargoSeoul–Incheon
CargoluxLuxembourg City
China Airlines CargoTaipei–Taoyuan
China Cargo AirlinesShanghai–Pudong
China Postal AirlinesShanghai–Pudong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing
DHL Aviation
operated by Air Hong Kong
Hong Kong
EVA Air CargoTapei–Taoyuan
Etihad CargoAbu Dhabi, Almaty
FedEx ExpressSeoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Osaka–Kansai
Korean Air CargoSeoul–Incheon
Lufthansa CargoFrankfurt
SF AirlinesGuangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai–Pudong, Wuxi, Shenzhen, Macau
Suparna AirlinesHangzhou, Shenzhen

Ground transportation

Intra-terminal transportation

Terminal 3 consists of three sub-concourses. Both domestic and international travellers check in at concourse T3C. Gates for domestic flights are in T3C, and gates for domestic flights operated by Air China are also located in concourse T3D. All international, Hong Kong, and Macau, and Taiwan flights are handled in concourse T3E.

In conjunction with the construction of the new terminal, Bombardier Transportation installed a 2 km (1.2 mi) automated people mover which connects T3C and T3E via T3D in a 2–5-minute one-way trip.  The line uses Innovia APM 100 vehicles running at 6-minute intervals at a maximum speed of 55 kilometres per hour (34 mph).

Inter-terminal transportation

The airport provides a free inter-terminal shuttle bus between Terminals 1/2 and 3. They operate every 10 minutes from 6 am to 11 pm, and every 30 minutes from 11 pm till 6 am. Terminals 1 and 2 are connected by a lengthy corridor.


Beijing Capital International Airport is served by the Capital Airport Express, a dedicated rail link operated as part of the Beijing Subway system. The 28.1 km (17.5 mi) line runs from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2 and then to the city with stops at Sanyuanqiao and Dongzhimen. The line opened on 19 July 2008, in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics. A one-way trip takes approximately 16–20 minutes and costs ¥25. The running hours are 6:35-23:10 for T2, 6:20-22:50 for T3 and 6:00-22:30 for Dongzhimen.


There are 18 bus routes to and from points throughout the city including Xidan, Beijing railway station, Beijing South railway station, Beijing West railway station, Zhongguancun, Fangzhuang and Shangdi. The airport buses run to each of the three terminals and cost up to ¥30 per ride depending on the route. The airport buses accept only paper tickets that are sold at each terminal and certain bus stops in the city. The airport also offers intercity bus services to and from neighboring cities including Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Baoding, Langfang and Tangshan.


Toll plaza at Xiaotianzhu on the Airport Expressway, which goes to Terminals 1 and 2.Toll plaza on the 2nd Airport Expressway and entrance to parking garage at Terminal 3.

The airport is accessible by four expresses tollways. Two of these run directly from northeastern Beijing to the airport. The other two connect to the airport from nearby highways.

CAAC Airport Chart
Source: Civil Aviation Administration of China

Source: wikipedia