NEPALGUNJ, June 5: Buddha Air has officially announced that it would start scheduled flights between Nepalgunj and New Delhi from March 1, 2019.
This will be the first flight between the Indian capital and the commercial hub of mid-western Nepal.
The airline plans to operate three flights a day on the sector.
Organizing a press meet in Nepalgunj on Monday, the privately-owned carrier said that it plans to operate regular flights between Nepalgunj and New Delhi in order to boost tourism activities in Nepalgunj and surrounding areas.
The airline is awaiting approval of its proposal to operate flights on the sector from the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
Earlier, unveiling his plan for the first 100 days in office, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari had announced to operate regular flights with neighbor countries from three regional airports. Nepalgunj Airport is one of them.
The announcement to operate regular flights connecting Nepalgunj and New Delhi has come a few days after the government completed its first 100 days.
Speaking at the press meet, Birendra Bahadur Basnet, managing director of Buddha Air, said that the main objective of the airline was to promote tourism attraction of mid-western and far-western regions of the country. "Our main target is to provide easy connectivity to passengers to this part of the country for trade, pilgrimage, holiday and other purposes, Basnet said.
He said he was hopeful that the flight will benefit tourism sector.
"We have planned to operate three flights a day with flights departing at 7 am, 1 pm and 5 pm," he added.
The airline will operate its 72-seater ATR 72-500 aircraft for the flights. It expects to serve 200 passengers a day and around 70,000 passengers annually.
“We will launch the flight as soon as the government completes expansion works at the Nepalgunj airport,” added Basnet.
Construction of new parking bay is undergoing at present. The government is still to build international terminal building, customs office, immigration office and other infrastructures that are needed to operate international flights from the airport.
Speaking at the press meet, Mayor of Nepalgunj Sub-metropolitan City, Dhawal Samsher Rana, said that the local government will provide all possible support for Nepalgunj-New Delhi flight as it will play a key role in ushering in economic prosperity in the region.
Similarly, Lawmaker Sanjaya Gautam said that flight connectivity between Nepalgunj and the Indian capital city can contribute a lot in tourism, pilgrimage, trade, education, health and other sectors. “As Nepalgunj is becoming a hub for Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrimage, direct flight operation between Nepalgunj and New Delhi is certain to boost tourism activity of the region,” he added.