5 Gateways Of The East
Business Traveler|May 2017

To stay ahead of the rising tide of traffic, Asia’s key hubs are on a building spree

 

An airport represents a country’s portal, its welcome to the world. And as the number of passengers continues to increase, airports globally are pushing to keep up with new facilities, expansions and upgrades.

In the Asia Pacific region rapid economic growth is mirrored in the flourishing passenger count which airports continue to post month after month. And the sheer pace of growth has left some airports behind the curve, with modernization and major infrastructure projects such as building new airports lagging the demands of a burgeoning aviation sector.

Some nations, however, have planned well beyond the current numbers, carving out their place as vital destinations in the world’s aviation network. Here’s a look at five of Asia’s primary hubs – four currently in operation and one in the offing – that are already planning for the future.

1 Taiwan Taoyuan International

If flat out efficiency is important to you as a business traveler this bit of news might steer you toward one of Asia’s ‘stealth’ hubs: Taiwan Taoyuan International was the 2015 recipient of Airports Council International’s award as the world’s most efficient airport. In what was almost a double play, ACI also said TPE came in second for airport service quality in 2015.

TPE (that’s Taoyuan’s airport code) is home base for a couple of major international players: EVA Air and China Airlines (not to be confused with its crossstrait rival, PRC’s Air China).

TPE handled some 42.3 million passengers in 2016, making it the planet’s 11th busiest airport in terms of international passengers. It’s a two runway, two terminal affair, with a third terminal set to open in 2020.

T3 alone will accommodate 45 million fliers per year. It’s being billed as one of the most expensive construction projects in the history of modern Taiwan. To help passengers connecting at TPE an interterminal rail project is now in the works.

Business travelers may well get their first introduction to Taoyuan via a flight on China Airlines or EVA. Over the past couple of years EVA has been growing its fleet and expanding its reach with service to Houston Bush Intercontinental and Chicago O’Hare International. Both IAH and ORD are major hubs for United Airlines. That’s important, because UA, like EVA, is a major Star Alliance member. This move facilitates connections, frequent flier points sharing and airport club access.

Seoul Incheon International Airport

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