Air China launched a new non-stop flight between Beijing and Lhasa on Thursday. The flight departs from Beijing at 8:05 a.m. and arrives at Lhasa at 12:25 p.m., with returning flights leaving at 1:15 p.m. and landing in Beijing at 5:05 p.m.. The service will be operated with Airbus 319 planes, which can hold 130 people and have been modified to adapt to plateau conditions.
Previously, Air China services between Beijing and Lhasa had to stop in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. The new flight will cut two hours off the travel time and is expected to stimulate low season tourism in Tibet. Tourism is the pillar industry of the Tibet economy. Last year, 6.85 million tourists from home and abroad visited Tibet autonomous region, generating 14% of its total GDP.