Lhasa-based Tibet Airlines has chosen the Airbus A319 to build up its fleet and is set to become Airbus’ newest customer in China. The airline, which obtained the approval of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in March 2010, has signed a commitment to acquire three A319s.
The aircraft will be able to accommodate 128 passengers in a two-class configuration, with eight first class seats. The carrier plans to operate the A319s both on routes within the region and to major destinations across China.
High mountains make it extremely difficult to develop road traffic on the Tibetan plateau which is around 4000 meters in altitude on average. This makes it more efficient to travel by air in Tibet. Thanks to its Required Navigation Performance (RNP) technology and expertise, Airbus is proud to note that over 80 percent of the commercial flights to and from Tibet are performed with Airbus aircraft, most of them being A319s with the rest being A330s.
This commitment to acquire Airbus aircraft by the new carrier was marked by a ceremony in Lhasa with local officials, representatives of the CAAC, as well as executives of Tibet Airlines and of Airbus.
“Air traffic will play a key role in the social and economic development of the Tibet Autonomous Region,” said Liu Yanping, General Manager of Tibet Airlines. “The proven high altitude flight performance of Airbus A319 was key in our intent to start our operations with this aircraft. In anticipation of the growing demand for air transport in the region, we are planning to expand our fleet to some 20 aircraft in the next five years,” he added.
“The high altitude performance of the Airbus A319 which has been proven by more than six years of commercial operations in and out of Lhasa and the RNP validation in 2007 makes the aircraft an ideal and natural choice for Tibet Airlines. We wish Tibet Airlines a prosperous future with our world’s leading aircraft,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers.
The A320 Family (A318, A319, A320 and A321) is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. With over 6,600 aircraft sold, and more than 4,300 aircraft delivered to some 310 customers and operators worldwide, the A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft family. With 99.7 per cent reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the worldwide standard wide-body system.