Airport in Xinjiang's Urumqi emerges as China's busiest single-runway airport
Updated: January 10, 2024 19:20 Xinhua

URUMQI, Jan. 10 -- Urumqi Diwopu International Airport in the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region handled over 25 million passenger trips in 2023, making it the busiest single-runway airport in China, local authorities said Wednesday.

Currently, there are five single-runway airports with an annual passenger throughput of over 20 million in China, which are located in Xiamen, Sanya, Harbin, Shenyang and Urumqi. Last year, Urumqi Diwopu International Airport ranked first among them, with an average of 484 takeoffs and landings per day, according to Xinjiang Airport Group Co., Ltd.

Xinjiang's tourism market has continued to boom in recent years, with tourist visits from home and abroad hitting a record high of over 265.44 million in 2023, a year-on-year increase of more than 117 percent.

The region's tourism revenue soared nearly 227 percent year on year to more than 296.7 billion yuan (about 41.76 billion U.S. dollars) in 2023, according to the regional culture and tourism department.

To facilitate passenger demands, Urumqi Diwopu International Airport operates a total of 227 regular passenger routes, which include 207 domestic routes and 20 international routes.

"Xinjiang is rich in ice-and-snow resources. China Southern Airlines has continued to open new flights to popular travel destinations including Fuyun and Altay, providing services for more than 1 million passengers," said Li Lin, from the Xinjiang branch of China Southern Airlines.

Xinjiang is located at the heart of the Eurasian continent and serves as an important transportation hub in the core region of the Silk Road Economic Belt.

As part of ongoing efforts to enhance its aviation infrastructure, Xinjiang is carrying out an expansion project at Urumqi Diwopu International Airport, which includes a new terminal. Upon completion, this new terminal is expected to reach an annual passenger throughput capacity of 48 million and a cargo handling capacity of 550,000 tonnes.

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