By Sun Xingwei and Zhang Yun
BEIJING, Sept. 6 -- A chartered flight carrying 115 veterans took off from the Shigatse Heping Airport in Tibet and headed for Chengdu, Sichuan Province, on the morning of September 1, marking the official opening of 23 air routes for transporting new recruits and veterans into and out of Xinjiang and Tibet in the second half of this year.
According to a person in charge of a military transportation dispatch center under the PLA Western Theater Command, there are currently nearly 30 civil airports built or under construction in Xinjiang and Tibet. The rapid development of civil aviation in the border areas has provided convenience for the air transportation of recruits and veterans.
It is learnt that after coordinating with airports in Urumqi, Kashgar, Lhasa, Shigatse and other places, the dispatch center has opened up 23 routes to transport recruits and veterans into and out of Xinjiang and Tibet this year, and temporarily opened 3 routes from Yinchuan, Jiayuguan, and Zhangye to Ngari. This year, all the recruits and veterans entering and exiting the Ngari area of Tibet will be delivered by air.
It is also learnt that, in addition, some airlines help to reserve tickets of regular flights to Ngari in response to the troops’ emergency needs. And some urgently needed military supplies could also be delivered free of charge or at preferential rates by the civil airliners.