Beijing Daxing International Airport began resuming international and regional flights on Tuesday following the optimization of immigration, aviation and customs policies earlier this month.
China Southern Airlines Flight CZ309 left the airport at 9 am for Hong Kong, the first cross-border passenger flight to originate from Daxing in nearly three years.
"This is my first cross-border trip since the outbreak of the epidemic, and I am very excited and happy to be on the first flight," said passenger Lan Yu.
Lan said she plans to spend the coming Spring Festival with her friends in Hong Kong, and she chose to depart from Daxing airport because the services, facilities and inbound-outbound procedures are efficient.
Zhao Zhao, deputy director of customs at the airport, said that after receiving the plan to resume cross-border routes, customs officers have followed up on renovations, kept abreast of information regarding inbound and outbound flights, and conducted detailed checks on the operations of the airport's facilities and working procedures under customs supervision to ensure passengers receive the best service.
Passengers can make health declarations via a mini-program or fill in the entry-exit health declaration card to obtain a QR code that can be scanned to show their status. They can use that code to pass through customs more quickly.
At the inspection and quarantine station for inbound passengers, customs has installed intelligent inspection equipment, including an infrared thermometer to check passengers' temperatures. It only takes a few seconds to obtain and store the health declaration data and body temperatures of inbound passengers, according to Daxing customs.
Su Yiming, director of the aviation business department of Daxing airport, said that from Tuesday, China Southern, China Eastern, Capital and Himalaya airlines will resume international and regional passenger routes from the airport.
Initial routes include services to Hong Kong, Kathmandu in Nepal, Male in the Maldives and Bangkok in Thailand. More carriers will operate more long-distance routes later, Su said.
"Daxing airport will resume international transit services without claiming passengers' checked baggage and implement the 144-hour visa-free transit policy for foreign visitors of certain countries in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region to facilitate rapid customs clearance for transit passengers, effectively promoting tourism and economic development in the region," she said.
According to the National Immigration Administration, since the implementation of the optimized immigration policies on Jan 8, immigration authorities have resumed customs clearance at land and water ports in an orderly manner, and have resumed accepting and approving entry and exit documents for Chinese and foreign nationals.
The authorities now inspect about half a million inbound and outbound travelers each day on average, an increase of 48.2 percent before the policy took effect. They also accept and handle an average of about 341,000 entry-exit documents each day, up 129.4 percent, the NIA said.
Li Peixuan contributed to this story.