In the past 45 years, Air China, China’s second-largest commercial airline after China Southern Airlines, has flown 67,000 sorties between Chengdu and Lhasa carrying 8.74 million passengers and 198,000 tons of cargo.
The Tibet Plateau, located at an average altitude of 4,000 meters, features glaciers and sees many occurrences of wind and sand storms, hailstones, thunder and turbulent currents.
The airspace was once considered the "forbidden zone for flight" by the international airline community and the most difficult flight airspace.
To meet the special needs for flight on the plateau, the Southwest Branch of Air China conducted adaptability modification to the oxygen supply system for passenger cabins, the pressure charging system of cabins and the power system of engines of all the planes flying the route.
Now a total of 32 planes from Air China are flying the air route, more than any other airline.
China Tibet Online states Air China also launched the night flight between Chengdu and Lhasa on Nov. 12, 2008, the first night flight at the Lhasa Gonggar Airport.