China is to significantly boost domestic and international air traffic in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) with more national and international flight services and more airports.
This is apparently part of a move to implement the guidelines of the Politburo’s Jan 18-20 Fifth Tibet Work Forum meeting. The meeting set out a 10-year guideline for boosting the region’s economic development and lasting stability.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is to adopt a series of measures to enhance civil aviation infrastructure and services in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), reported China’s official China Daily newspaper Jan 26. It cited a spokeswoman for CAAC as saying domestic and foreign airlines are encouraged to open international flights to or via TAR, under bilateral civil aviation frameworks.
She noted that currently, only the Gonggar Airport of Lhasa has international flights to Katmandu, capital of Nepal.
The report said the CAAC was encouraging domestic airlines also to open flights linking the TAR with other domestic airports in the PRC, including those in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, promising them priority in time schedules. Which most surely means attracting more tourists.
The report noted that currently, nine cities in the PRC had flights to the TAR. However, the CAAC wants more cities to be linked with the TAR.
16 air routes link the TAR’s Lhasa, Qamdo (Tibetan: Chamdo) and Nyingchi (Tibetan: Nyingtri) with these nine domestic cities and Nepal’s capital Katmandu. During summer this could reach up to 212 weekly flights to fly in and out of Tibet.
Tibetan Review reported the CAAC would also plan more airports in the TAR, although no specifics have been mentioned.