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Regular nonstop flight launched between Beijing, Lhasa

(Xinhua)

08:12, December 16, 2011

Flight attendants walk out of the plane in Gongga Airport in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Dec. 15, 2011. The first non-stop flight from Beijing to Lhasa made its four-hour maiden voyage on Thursday. (Xinhua/Tao Xiyi)

BEIJING, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- A new regular nonstop flight was launched between Beijing and Lhasa on Thursday, cutting the previous travel time by nearly two hours.

The round-trip flight is operated by Air China every day, and a refitted Airbus A319 is used to carry out the flight.

Currently, it is the only nonstop air service between Beijing and Lhasa, the capital city of southwest China's remote Tibet autonomous region.

Other flights linking the two cities take about six hours because the flights have a layover in the southwestern cities of Chengdu or Chongqing, and the new direct service reduces the journey to only four hours.

"The opening of the new route will contribute to economic, trade and personnel exchanges between the two cities," said Wang Changshun, general manager of the China National Aviation Corp., at the Beijing Capital International Airport.

He said an A330 aircraft, which has a greater passenger capacity than the A319, will be used for the non-stop service during the peak tourist season.

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