Commercial Airlines Do Not Fly Over Tibet. Here Is Why

why don't planes fly over tibet

The picture above shows a map of plane routes in a calendar year over some of the most populated areas of Asia. Notice anything odd? While the yellow spots thoroughly fill the areas like Pakistan, India, Russia and Eastern China, there is virtually no traffic over Tibet! Don’t fret over why this would happen because we have a valid explanation for this:

  • The average elevation of the area is about 16,000ft above sea level. In case, an emergency landing was required near this area and even if the landing were successful (which itself is highly unlikely), oxygen levels at this height would be negligible, as an average human being can breathe normally at less than 12,000 ft.
  • There is no concept of any radar services in the region.
  • There are no direct circle routes that would be beneficial. Although some Russian and Chinese airlines do fly over the area sometimes, the number of flights is very low.

You can testify this fact by visiting a library with a 3D globe, take a thread or a string to see how many major destinations fall directly through the Tibet region. Shockingly, these are very few. In fact, Heathrow airport, which is one of the largest in the world, only has four routes that fly over Tibet.

Another major reason for the lack of direct flights is the fact that the polar routes from North America to Asia do not fly direct to India, as it is beyond the range of most aircraft. Moreover, Europe to Southeast Asian travel is routed via Dubai because it is cheaper than going through Tibet. Thus, preference for cost-effectiveness also counts for one of the reasons for absence of yellow spots over Tibet.

Do you have any other explanations for this oddity? Comment below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *