Northeast China's scenic forest and ski resort of Changbai Mountain was further opened to tourists on Sunday with the operation of a new airport.
The first flight, by China Southern Airlines, took about 40 minutes from Changchun, capital of Jilin Province, to the Changbai Mountain Airport.
Construction of the airport in Jilin's Fusong County began in July 2006 and was completed at a cost of 550 million yuan (80 million U.S. dollars). It is expected to handle 540,000 passengers annually by 2015.
Investment came from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the Jilin provincial government. It is run by the Jilin Civil Aviation Airport Group.
It is planned that the airport will also serve direct flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian, Shenyang, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
Changbai Mountain is in the border area between China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Skiing is possible from late October to June, and it has hosted international skiing events and tourism festivals.
Tourist numbers to the Changbai Mountain scenic area are growing by 25 percent annually, and 950,000 visitors arrived in 2007.
(Xinhua News Agency August 4, 2008)