Air China’s main office is located at 15 Xi Changan Jie (Tel. 6601 6667 for both domestic and international). Most large hotels have travel desks that offer a computerized reservations service and flight confirmations.
Hong Kong based Dragon air offers seven flights per day to and from Beijing and Cathay Pacific has resumed services. Hong Kong to Beijing is currently the most expensive air route in the world. Air China and China Southern Airlines offer lower fares and less frequent lights, the latter of which has one discount flight between the two cities per day.
For aviation history buffs, the evolution of Beijing’s Capital Airport can be seen as some flights taxi to or from their gates. There is one, small, concrete terminal that was the main building during President Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972. That part of the runway is still used to greet VIPs, and the private planes of multinational executives are often parked there. On the western side of the airport complex is the main terminal used during the 1980s and 1990s. Part of the old airport has been renovated and now handles some domestic flights.
On 1 November 1999, a new airport was opened, increasing capacity and shifting the passenger terminal to allow the renovation of the old terminal in time for the entire complex to handle the flood of visitors expected for the 2008 0lympic Games. However, there is talk of another airport being built before this time.
The most common means of transport from Capital Airport to central Beijing is a taxi. For reference, at time of publication, the f are to the China World Trade Center complex cost approximately RMB 85, including a 10 yuan highway toll that will not appear on the meter. Choose a taxi where the meter is clearly visible to the passenger, instead of being placed down near the gearshift. Make sure the driver starts the meter when driving away, and that the meter is not already running at the time you enter the vehicle. Always ask for receipts for all charges and do not pay until those charges are verified on the printed receipt. There is no charge for baggage.
Three bus lines run from Capital Airport to different areas of Beijing. One of them, the A Line, runs 24 hours. Look for signs inside the airport terminal for buses- they depart from an area to the right of most of the airport’s baggage claims areas. Tickets maybe purchased on board each bus at no extra charge, for 16 yuan each. The A Line departs from the right-hand end of the building and stops at the Sanyuan Qiao on the northeast third ring road where one can find a taxi. The final stop is the Aviation Building in Xidan, near the Xidan metro.