Beijing and Stockholm enter sister airport relationship

Following on Capital Airports Holding Company’s (CAH) MOU with Helsinki Airport on 7 January 2016, a similar deal was signed on 24 February with Swedavia, Swedish airport operator, on the Establishment of a Sister Airport Relationship between Stockholm Arlanda Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport.


The Beijing airport thus becomes a sister airport to both Helsinki and Stockholm. CAH, the largest airport operator in China, establishes extensive collaboration between Arlanda and the biggest airport in Asia.

Stockholm Arlanda Airport is the only Nordic airport being served by a Chinese carrier; Air China. In 2013 the airline celebrated their 25-Year Anniversary at Arlanda, and the now daily route has led to strong connections and good relations between China and Sweden over the years. The passenger numbers between Beijing and Stockholm have grown ten times faster than other international passenger growth at Arlanda during the last 15 years. In September last year the Scandinavian airline SAS also inaugurated a direct route to Hong Kong from Stockholm. In conjunction with this Swedavia established an office in Hong Kong in order to stimulate the Asian market.

“Swedavia is a world leading airport group, and Stockholm Arlanda Airport under its management is a major European aviation hub connecting to the China market. Capital Airports Holding Company attaches great importance to the sister airport relationship with Swedavia, and CAH is willing to learn the rich experiences of green airport, sustainable development and airport management from the counterpart. Through the bond of sisterhood , the two sides will bring closer ties, enhance mutual trust and deepen friendship to open a new chapter for future cooperation,” says Mr. Liu Xuesong, President & CEO at CAH.


Arlanda is the fastest growing airport in Scandinavia setting a record for the fifth consecutive year by 23 million passengers in 2015. Also, Stockholm is the largest and fastest growing market in Scandinavia. On Forbes list of 2 000 global companies, Stockholm is number 10 on the list of cities in the world with most global headquarters. The number of business travellers on the Beijing-Stockholm route is substantial, 45 percent. However, leisure travelling is rapidly growing; the number of Chinese visitors to Sweden increased by 28 percent in 2015. To welcome the Chinese visitors, Arlanda is a Chinese Friendly Airport with for example Chinese traffic signs, airport hosts, a Chinese web site and commercially adapted offers.

The new sisterhood between Arlanda and Beijing International Capital Airport means sharing knowledge and best practice.

“We are looking forward to extend our already strong connections with China by adding this sisterhood relationship with the largest airport operator in China. It will give great opportunity for increased connectivity between our countries in both business and leisure traveling. As environmental industry leaders we are hoping to be able to share best practices from our work on how to become a sustainable airport. It will also be beneficial for Arlanda to get Beijing Capital International Airport’s insights on airport infrastructure and a competitive airport city development,” says Mr Karl Wistrand, Group CEO at state-owned Swedavia.


Developing long-term sustainable solutions will be integral to the future for Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Based on its initiatives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the airport has achieved the highest level of Airport Carbon Accreditation since 2009. The emissions of fossil carbon dioxide from airport´s own operations have been cut by approximately 75 percent since 2005. The objectives are to have zero fossil carbon dioxide emissions from own operations by 2020 as well as actively support the development of renewable jet fuels in the Nordic countries and the access to renewable jet fuels at Swedavia’s ten airports in Sweden.

Offering the most competitive airport costs in the Nordics is the latest in a number of steps taken to become the leading airport in Scandinavia by 2020. The capital spending for terminal development until 2043 is estimated to USD 1.5 billion for both operational excellence and commercial offerings. In addition to the development at the airport, a new Airport city with hotels and office buildings are starting to take shape. The next step in this development phase is the establishment of the office complex Sky City Office One. Increased airport capacity and a new business district create the bridge into the whole Stockholm region.

Capital Airports Holding Company (CAH), affiliated to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), is a large state-owned enterprise with cross-regional operations and diversified business scopes. It is one of the largest airport management group in the world.

Currently, CAH owns or manages more than 40 international and regional airports in 8 provinces (municipalities or autonomous region) in China, including Beijing Municipality, Tianjin Municipality, Jiang Xi province, Chongqing Municipality, Jilin Province, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Heilongjiang Province and Hebei Province. By 2015, total passenger traffic of the member airports has registered 195 million, cargo tonnage of 2.81 million and aircraft movements of 1.49 million, achieving an year on year increase of 8.7%, 2.3% and 5.7% respectively.

Swedavia is a world leader in developing airports with the least possible environmental impact. The Group has revenue of just over 5.5 billion Swedish kronor and some 2,800 employees.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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