Tibet Airlines's first Airbus A319 has started test flights at the airframer's Hamburg Finkenwerder plant, ahead of delivery to the carrier.

The operator last year agreed to take three A319s and intends to conduct precision navigation operations to high-altitude airports in the region.

During the Paris air show the airline disclosed it had agreed to equip the aircraft with CFM International CFM56 engines. Delivery of the first twinjet its planned to take place in July.

Tibet Airlines is to use required navigation performance procedures on services from Lahsa to Bangda, Ali, Shigatse and Linzhi, supported by Airbus's Quovadis arm.

These procedures will enable the A319s to use satellite-based navigation between the airports on its network, some of which are located at altitudes above 14,000ft (4,270m).

 Tibet A319
 © Rene Hesse

Source: Flight International