As the CSS7194 flight landed at Shangri-La Airport on August 5, the special air route for fresh matsutake in northwest Yunnan’s Diqing was launched to connect mushroom pickers in the Tibetan autonomous prefecture with foodies in the Chinese cities of Kunming and Shenzhen.
Located in the trijunction of Yunnan, Tibet and Sichuan, Diqing is a major matsutake producer in China and the world at large. The prefecture exports over 65 percent of the fresh matsutake in Yunnan province, and the wild mushroom is also one of the pillars for ethnic groups to increase their income.
A four-month preparation, which involved facilities, staff training, highland trial fights and timetable application, has been made to ensure the smooth operation of the new cargo air route.
The Diqing-Kunming-Shenzhen air route was expected to allow fresh matsutake to reach nationwide consumers at lower prices and faster speeds, while bringing more income to local villagers.
Following the opening, the fresh-picked Diqing matsutake can now reach 61 Chinese cities within 24 hours and over 200 cities in 48 hours.