Air China To Open Tibet's Third Airport

China will open a new airport in southeast Tibet, near the border with Myanmar and India, in July, opening a remote area famous for its natural scenery to an additional 120,000 visitors a year, state media said Wednesday.

The Nyingchi Airport was built and will be managed by Air China Southwest Branch Co., a subsidiary of China's flag carrier Air China Ltd., the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Tibet already has two airports, one in the capital, Lhasa, and another in the eastern town of Qamdo.

The city of Nyingchi is about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the Yarlung Zangbo River Grand Canyon, which Chinese scientists claim is the world's deepest canyon.

Xinhua quoted a company spokesman as saying that because the Nyingchi Airport is at a lower altitude than the two existing airports, it is "an ideal first stop for tourists to gradually adapt themselves to Tibet's" high altitude. The spokesman's name was not given.

The airport has a designed annual passenger flow of 120,000, it said. Air China will operate regular Boeing-757 flights between Chengdu in China's southwest and Nyingchi, Xinhua said.

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