Chongqing Jiangbei International airport expects to launch 12 new international routes by the end of this year.

The airport’s chief financial officer Hu Chun states that the new destinations include Paris, Yangon, Kuala Lumpur, Vientiane, Kathmandu, Colombo, Chiang Rai, Pattaya, Seattle, Chicago, Toronto and Boston.

Speaking to FlightGlobal at the World Routes event in Guangzhou, Hu explains that the airport will announce its new Southeast Asian destinations before those in Europe and North America. This is in line with Beijing’s “Belt and Road” development strategy, which aims to boost trade with countries with close commercial ties with China.

By 2020, Hu says that Chongqing could add another 15 international routes. This would bring its total international services to 100.

“Chongqing Jiangbei is well-positioned in between Europe, America, Africa and Southeast Asia," Hu states. "The rise of Chongqing as an air hub is attributed to the city’s growth an important tourist destination in China. We are also seeing more domestic travellers over the years.”

She adds that low-cost penetration still stands at " around 16 to 17%" - similar to 2016 levels. However, she is confident that this will rise – particularly from domestic budget operators as China’s economy grows.

To that end, Chongqing has laid plans for Terminal 1 to be converted into a domestic low-cost carrier terminal. However, Hu says that they are still in the preliminary stages as its capacity cannot accommodate all the low-cost carriers which operate out of Terminal 2. They include carriers such as West Air, Spring Airlines and 9 Air.

Source: Cirium Dashboard