The past few years has seen the Chinese government launching ambitious plans to develop the different cities, and mega projects that push the boundaries of infrastructure development. An an area 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest of Beijing called the "Xiong’an New Area" is being developed to become a special economic hub. As plans are being made to move some institutions and companies from the crowded city of Beijing, China Southern Airlines is making a move to establish itself in the country's newest economic zone.
The Guangzhou-based China Southern is planning to invest 10 billion yuan (USD $1.5 billion) to set up a new airline subsidary which would be based in Xiong'an and could start operating before the end of the year. It will add to the major presence the airline will have when Beijing's new mega-airport in Daxing opens in 2019.
According to a filing, the company name is China Southern Airline Xiongan Company, which would provide international, domestic, and regional flights with passenger and cargo traffic based in the region. Other services will include aircraft maintenance and the sale of aircraft materials. All these plans are not finalized yet, as the new airline subsidary will still need the approval of the local and national government.
China Southern's move is aimed to position its presence in the Xiong'an region, which observers see could be equal to Shanghai's Pudong and Shenzhen in significance to China's economy. While it's 100 kilometers from the center of Beijing, plans are also being made for a high speed rail to connect the two hubs with a 20 minute train ride.
The Chinese government has attracted investments for the Xiong'an region from large domestic companies to develop a high-tech city with a world-class transportation system. Plans have also been made to move some Chinese government agencies as well as high-tech research and development groups to help relieve the crowding and pollution in Beijing.