A flight connecting Qiemo, a far-flung corner of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Urumqi, the regional capital, was launched Monday.
The round-trip flight, operated by China Southern Airlines, departs Urumqi every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and stops in Korla City, before arriving at Qiemo.
The CAAC Xinjiang Regional Administration said it was the first civilian airline since the the last passenger plane service at the old Qiemo airport expired five years ago.
Qiemo is over 1,100 kilometers from Urumqi, and 720 km from Korla. The flight will cut travel time between Qiemo and Urumqi to 2.5 hours, from 15 hours by road.
The new airport has 120,000 passengers a year, and a cargo handling capacity of 480 tonnes per year. The operating flight will receive state subsidies of about 7 million yuan (about 1 million U.S. dollars) every year.