Hebei sweetens deals for rail, air travelers

Updated: 2016-05-12 08:26

By Zhao Lei In Shijiazhuang(China Daily)

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Airports in Hebei province will work with railway operators to attract more travelers to the province, airport managers said.

"We are negotiating with China Railway Corp and Beijing Railway Bureau to let more high-speed rail services stop in Shijiazhuang and other Hebei cities that have an airport, which will attract more passengers from neighboring regions to use our airports for their trips," Li Ning, deputy general manager of Hebei Airport Management Holding Co, told China Daily on Tuesday.

Currently, there are 30 high-speed rail routes that stop at Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport, Li said, adding that his company also hopes civil aviation authorities will work with the railway company to integrate the air and rail ticket systems, which are now independent, to facilitate passengers.

Wang Yaqi, marketing director at the management company, said five more high-speed rail routes will add a stop at Shijiazhuang Zhengding.

The central government decided in 2014 that civil aviation industries in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei should better coordinate their operations and development. Under an agreement signed in December 2014 by Beijing Capital International Airport, Tianjin Binhai International Airport and Hebei Airport Management Holding, the Beijing airport should be dedicated to mostly international flights while airports in Tianjin and Hebei would handle more domestic service.

The agreement aimed at relieving the heavy burden on Beijing Capital and boosting the growth of Tianjin and Hebei airports.

Under the arrangement, tickets for domestic flights departing from the Shijia-zhuang airport are much cheaper than those departing from Beijing Capital to the same destination, Li said, adding that it's only an hour by high-speed train from Beijing West Railway Station to Shijiazhuang Zhengding, which has led a lot of residents living in the capital's western and southern areas to choose Shijiazhuang Zhengding as their departure or arrival airport.

"Passengers can buy air tickets and check in at the Beijing West station," he said. "Moreover, we offer free hotel accommodations at our airport to passengers whose flights are scheduled for early morning."

From January to April, about 100,000 travelers took a train to the Shijiazhuang airport and flew from there, or landed at the airport and then went to other places by train, Li said.

Zhao Yunfei, manager of the Hebei branch of low-cost carrier Spring Airlines, said about 11,000 passengers a month would fly to Shijiazhuang on his airline and then take a high-speed train to Beijing.

Passengers will save money - nearly 40 percent - on an air ticket from Shijiazhuang compared with the cost from the Beijing Capital to the same destination, he said.

Li Wu, general manager of Hebei Airport Management Holding, suggested the government should build more railways and highways to link Beijing and Hebei so passengers can conveniently use transportation facilities in Hebei.


Hebei sweetens deals for rail, air travelers

(China Daily 05/12/2016 page5)