Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, known as "the roof of the world," is aimed high to expand its local air service network with an increased effort made in airport construction and air-route development.
To date, the way to enter Tibet is by auto or plane, but journeys by bus, while cheaper, are more time-consuming and quite tiring.
The Gongga airport in Lhasa, capital of Tibet, and the Bangda airport in Qamdo have been expanded, and a new airport is being built in Nyingchi, to fulfill targets set in the region's tenth five-year development plan from 2001 to 2005.
According to the local development plan from 2006-2015, two new airports will be built in Tibet, including an additional one in Lhasa, and the airport in Xigaze will be put into use again.
Preparations are in full swing for the establishment of the Tibet branch of flag carrier Air China. The new air company will fly routes linking Lhasa with a number of big and tourist cities, including Shanghai, Xi'an, capital of northwest Shaanxi Province, and Guilin in south Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2004)