New air route links Pakistan to China`s desert

The route would enhance commercial, trade relations between China, Pakistan.

Updated: Dec 11, 2010, 12:16 PM IST

Beijing: An air route linking Pakistan capital Islamabad to Kashi in China`s Taklamakan desert that would enhance commercial and trade relations between the two countries has been inaugurated, a media report said.

Kashi is an oasis town within the Taklamakan desert in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and is a trade hub along the ancient Silk Road that connected China to Europe.

The air cargo service that was launched on Friday would operate once a week. The authorities may later change the flights from weekly to daily, based on requested freight volume, Wang Yongzhi, an official with the Kashi prefecture government, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

The air route would enhance commercial and trade relations between China and Pakistan, and would be beneficial for people in both countries, he said.

Until now, cargo between China and Pakistan mostly travelled by trucks. However, due to the extreme winter climate, the nearest border crossing is closed from the end of December to May each year.

IANS