Tibet airhostess eyes bright future

By Song Wei (
Updated: 2011-08-22 12:04

The country's first Tibetan airhostess says she will do what she can to help her hometown-based Tibet Airlines soar. Song Wei reports from Lhasa.

Lhasa - Dressed in Tibetan traditional costume, Dechen Yangzong, China's first Tibetan airhostess, says she is happy to return to her hometown and join Lhasa-based Tibet Airlines.

Dechen joined Tibet Airlines at the beginning of the year in the role of client manager. "I really want to make contributions to my hometown", she says, her voiced raised with conviction.

Tibet airhostess eyes bright future

Dechen Yangzong, China's first Tibetan airhostess. [Photo by Song Wei]

Born in Lhasa in 1976, Dechen moved to Beijing with her parents at the age of 8. Since then, her family have traveled back to Lhasa every year – first taking a train to Chengdu, and then flying on to Lhasa. The experience of frequently flying in an aircraft ingrained a dream held by a young Dechen of someday becoming an airhostess.

After graduating from high school, she was recruited as an air hostess – the country's first Tibetan airhostess – and worked for Air China for 16 years.

Working for Air China has helped Dechen learn many things, and for this, she says, she was grateful. "But I quit soon after I heard of the establishing of Tibet Airlines, because I think it's time for me to do something for my dear Tibetans, using the experience and expertise I've accumulated over all these years."

Established in June 2010 with registered capital of 280 million yuan ($43.42 million), Tibet Airlines started flight service on July 26, 2011. It is the first airline in the world to be based on a high plateau that reaches an altitude of over 2,438 meters.

Dechen told China Daily that compared with other airlines which also have air routes to Lhasa, Tibet Airlines is proud of its uniqueness, such as the Tibetan-style plane interior design, and food specially offered for Lamas and vegetarians.

Moreover, every plane has at least one Tibetan airhostess who can fluently speak the Tibetan language.

Dechen added that, even for Han airhostess working for Tibetan Airlines, learning to speak the Tibetan language is a must.

Tibet airhostess eyes bright future

Dechen Yangzong, China's first Tibetan airhostess. [Photo by Song Wei]

"Though people are getting more interested in Tibet, some of them still have misunderstandings", she said. Dechen cited an example, saying that many people think Tibetans don't eat fish for religious reasons, but the truth is that this applies only to a some areas of Tibet, not the whole area.

Dechen regarded her current job as a perfect opportunity to let more people know about Tibetan culture. Tibet Airlines has implemented many of her suggestions, such as adding more Tibetan elements to the airhostess' uniform, providing magazines and videos which introduce Tibetan culture, and offering certain distinctive Tibetan food.

Shortly after the establishment of Tibetan Airlines, Dechen trained new airhostess to work for the airline, most of who were born after 1990. Dechen said they were very smart and cute.

"I am quite confident the future of Tibet Airlines will be better and brighter", she concluded.

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