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Tibetan economy takes flight

08-20-2010 14:01 BJT

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Tibet Autonomous Region has always been a difficult area for airlines. The cost of flying in the region are higher than for other routes, and the difference between peak and off season is very clear. But, the aviation industry can contribute a lot to local economic development.

Since the opening of Tibetan travel market, many airlines have launched routes to the region. But the high costs, due to the geological environment, keeps airlines from investing more in the market.

Xu Bo, Director of Tibet Bureau of Civil Aviation Administration of China said "The route is above the Tibetan Plateau, and the minimum en-route safe altitude is 7,000 meters. That requires a huge investment in choosing an aircraft and overhauling it. It's hard for airline companies."

The operating cost of a route to Tibet is more than 40 percent higher than any other usual route within China. And there's a striking disparity between peak and off seasons. In a bid to increase investment, the local government is offering preferential policies to Tibet Airlines. It's hoped the effort will help reduce the commercial pressures on the company, and give it more room to develop.

Liu Yanping, General Manager of Tibet Airlines said "The company's routes will cover the autonomous region in near future. Between 2013 and 2014, we will try to cover South Asia including India and Nepal. We hope to fly straight to Europe in 2015."

Investment in Tibet Airlines will also boost the local economy. Data shows that if 1 yuan is invested in the industry, the output will be 8 yuan.

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Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CNTV.CN

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