KATHMANDU, Oct 7: Himalaya Airlines, a joint venture between Nepal and China, is planning to start direct flights from Kathmandu to Burma soon. The airline is planning to start the Kathmandu-Yangon flight by December.
Currently, around half million Nepali-speaking people live in Burma.
If domestic preparations and permit process goes as planned, the company will start operating flights from December. This will help promote tourism industry in Nepal, according to an official from the airline.
According to him, Yu Lu Bin, Mayanmar ambassador to Nepal and Bijaya Shrestha, vice-president of Himalaya, recently discussed about the flight. “The company is ready for Kathmandu-Yangon flight,” the official said, adding that new aircraft would be added for direct flights.
Two weeks earlier, Ambassador Yu had said he would urge Jeevan Bahadur Shahi, minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, to take the initiation for operating direct flights between the two countries.
Nepalis going to Burma for meditation and to be monk and Burmese coming to visit Lumbini are expected to be immensely benefited after direct flights come into operation.
The airline had successfully launched its maiden flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka on October 1 carrying passengers directly to the destination.
The direct flight to Colombo that resumed after almost three decades flies twice a week, according to airline’s VP Vijay Shrestha. “We consider this to be another milestone for us as this will make Himalaya Airlines the only airline with scheduled flights to Colombo from Kathmandu,” he said, adding, “We anticipate that majority of our passengers will be businessmen and tourists from the two countries.”
Himalaya Airlines, a full-service carrier, was established in August 2014. It had started scheduled flights from May 31, flying directly to Doha, Qatar. Apart from the opening of the Kathmandu/Colombo/Kathmandu route, the airline plans to operate regular flights to other destinations: Delhi, Yangon, Dammam, Beijing, Lhasa, Chengdu, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Dubai.
The airline currently uses 158 seat capacity airbus of A320-214 series for its flight. Himalaya’s third destination will be India’s capital New Delhi, according to the company.
The airline is preparing to fly to Delhi from October 30.
HIF Aviation Investment and Yeti World Investment Pvt Ltd have invested on Himlaya Airlines that has got permission to fly to 14 countries. Nepali company has 51.01 percent and Tibet Airlines has 48.99 percent investment in Himlaya Airlines.