Tuesday night's safe landing of flight XO9508 marked a safe flight record of 48 years for Xinjiang Airlines, making it China's safest airline.
Headquartered in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the company owns 23 large and medium-sized passenger planes and has 86 domestic air routes and eight international routes with a total mileage of 170,000 kilometers.
In 2002 alone, the company flew safely for 58,700 hours, handled 26,800 tons of cargo and offered service to 1.82 million passengers.
In view of the fact that Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the largest of China's provinces and autonomous regions, borders eight countries and has an unstable climate, safety has been its top priority since its predecessor, the Xinjiang Civil Aviation Administration Office, went into operation in 1957.
At that time, air service was very basic, and was, in fact, limited mainly to the use of helicopters. On January 1, 1985, Xinjiang Airlines launched its operations and gained notoriety in 1992 for being the first in China to introduce six foreign planes through "wetleasing", an arrangement which includes the leasing of planes, their crew members and the ground and aircraft maintenance staff.
Through decades of experience, the company says that it has developed a set of security measures in conformity with local weather conditions and the complexity of its diversified aircraft, which include Boeing-757s, Boeing-737s, ATR-72s and Il-86s.