LHASA: The Tibet region in China saw a record 3.63 million air passengers in 2015, up 15.2 percent from the previous year, regional civil aviation statistics show.
The region opened 13 new air routes in 2015, bringing its operating routes to 63. The number of cities linked to Tibet via air rose by seven to reach 40, Xinhua reported.
Five airports in Tibet handled over 36,000 landings and take-offs and cargo throughput of 29,000 tons in 2015, an increase of 16.8 percent and 16.3 percent year-on-year, respectively.
Tibet's civil aviation industry has been growing rapidly with a total investment of over 3 billion yuan ($457 million), becoming an important driver for the regional economy.
During the 13th Five-Year (2016-2020) period, Tibet will develop air express routes between the regional capital Lhasa and Chengdu, capital of neighbouring Sichuan province, and will open more air routes to other domestic cities, according to a regional civil aviation official.
Tibet will also encourage airline companies to open routes between Lhasa and Southeast and South Asian countries, said the official.