URUMQI, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Airline companies in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will greatly increase passenger capacity as the summer-autumn aviation season begins.
China Southern Airlines will launch 11 new domestic routes in the region, said Xu Jianmin, vice sales manager of company's Xinjiang branch.
Five of the routes connect regional cities such as Yining, Karamay and Korla with cities in central and southern parts of the country.
In June this year, China Southern will launch regular flights between Urumqi, the regional capital, and the Pakistani city of Lahore.
It will also launch a summer services from Urumqi to St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Taipei.
Urumqi Air, an affiliate of Hainan Airlines, will add six routes in the new aviation season, starting from March 25.
It plans to operate new international routes to central and western Asian countries.
In 2017, a record high of more than 21.5 million passengers travelled through Urumqi International Airport, the biggest airport in Xinjiang.
By the end of last year, air routes connected Urumqi with 75 domestic cities and 24 overseas cities.
The airport is expected to handle 30 million passengers and 250,000 tonnes of cargo and mail by 2020, with 10 percent of the volume being international services.