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13:42 Sep 23 2009

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Air China marks 20th anniversary of operation of Lhasa-Katmandu route
13:41, September 23, 2009  

Photo shows an Air China A 319 parking at the Mainling Airport in southeast Tibet's Nyingchi Prefecture after a successful required navigation performance (RNP) test flight on Sept. 2, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)

Air China, the world's only airline operating a flight over Mount Qomolangma, celebrated on Monday the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Lhasa-Katmandu route.

"In the past 20 years, Air China has witnessed the breakthroughs made in China's altitude flight technology and rapid development in Chinese citizens' traveling abroad," said Zhang Chunzhi, Air China's spokesman and director of the Marketing Department.

"We have been making constant efforts to build an air route network and offer better services to our passengers. We will continue to do so" he added.

Mount Qomolangma, the world's highest peak in a pyramid shape, is covered with snow all year round. Passengers can appreciate its magnificent scenery while flying between Lhasa and Katmandu. Appreciating the scenery in the air has become one of the major reasons why tourists choose to fly the route, said Zhang.

Nepal, boasting eight of the world's ten highest mountains, is the dream destination for mountaineers. The country officially became a tourist destination for Chinese citizens in 2002. Visited by only 500 Chinese tourists that year, Nepal had received 35,000 Chinese tourists by the end of 2008.

Air China, China's second-largest commercial airline after China Southern Airlines, has 256 planes. It operates 5,090 flights each week worldwide and is the 18th largest airline in the world in terms of the fleet size.

Source: Xinhuanet

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