China opens fourth airport in Tibet

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 01, 2010 11:50 hrs

A new airport became operational in Tibet Thursday, with the landing of a passenger plane of Air China, making it the fourth commercial airport in the region.

An Airbus 319 which took off from Chengdu, capital of the neighbouring Sichuan province, landed at Gunsa Airport in Ngari prefecture in southwest China's Tibet autonomous region known as the 'Roof of the World', Xinhua reported.

Constructed with an estimated cost of 1.65 billion yuan ($241.22 million), Gunsa Airport sits more than 4,200 meters above sea level and has a 4,500-meter runway.

Tibet already has three airports - Gonggar Airport in Lhasa, Bamda Airport in Qamdo prefecture and Nyingchi Airport. A fifth airport, Peace Airport in Xigaze, is expected to open in October.

The Air China flight would fly from Chengdu to Lhasa and on to Ngari every Tuesday and Friday, Bao Lida, a company spokesperson, said.

'The flight leaves Chengdu at 5:50 a.m. and arrives in Lhasa two hours later. It leaves Lhasa at 8:40 a.m. and arrives at Ngari at 10:20 a.m,' the official said adding that the total distance of the flight is 2,300 km.

China has already opened a railway line linking Tibet with major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

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