Turkish Airlines started Istanbul-Kathmandu-Istanbul flights directly linking Nepal with Europe nearly after 16 years

Sept. 13, 2013, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 07 No.-07 Sept. 13 -2013 (Bhadra 28, 2070)

This gentleman wants no credit for the work he has done, nor is he in the limelight. Joy Dewan, managing director of Zenith Travels, always prefers to place himself in the shadow. After nearly a gap of 15 years since the discontinuation of direct flights from Europe by German Airline Lufthansa and Austrian Air's discontinuation of its flights six year ago, Turkish Airlines, a competent and world class airlines, launched its flights linking Europe with Nepal again.

Joy Dewan played a very important role to pursue the Turkish Airlines to operate its scheduled flights to Nepal. Dewan, however, was not seen in the picture when Turkish Airlines and Nepal's General Sales Agents , Zenith Travels, organized a press conference in Kathmandu.

Decades ago when Nepal was in a very difficult situation to connect with the rest of west-Asia and Europe, Dewan's Zenith Travels was the General Sales Agent of Nepal for Qatar Airlines, which is now a leading airlines to offer regular services to Nepalese workers in the Gulf as well as a fleet to link Nepal with Europe and North America and Africa through its hub in Doha.

In the past 15 years, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Transavia discontinued their services. However, the prospects of Turkish Airlines are better because of the drastically increasing volume of passengers heading for Europe and northern America.

“It is great news not only for the tourism industry, but also for trade between Nepal and Europe,” said Joy Dewan, group managing director of Zenith Travels, the GSA of the Turkish Airlines in Nepal.

When Turkish Airlines Plane landed on September 1, it was 16 years after suspension of the regular flight by German's Lufthansa Airlines and six years after Austrian Airlines which directly linked Nepal to Europe. Turkish Airlines is now 27th Airlines to operate its flight to Tribhuwan International Airport. Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal Ratish Chandra Lal Das attended the function as the chief guest. The program was organized to celebrate the inaugural flight.

According to a press release of Turkish Airlines, round trip flights between Kathmandu will be operated four times per week, namely on, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, linking two historical cities of Europe and Asia. Inaugurating the regular flights, director general of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAN) said that CAN will provide all necessary support to Turkish Airlines. "This is a very historic moment for Nepal as capital of Kathmandu's distance to Europe will be much shorter now."

Despite minor complications, Nepal's Tribhuwan International Airport is an internationally certified Airport of the world and it follows all International Conventions and safety standards prescribed by ICAO and other international organizations.

"We are working to improve the standards of TIA. The recent flight disturbance caused by path-hole in the runway will be sorted out once we receive help from international consultant hired to overview the situation," said  Ratish Chandra.

Nepal Tourism Board greeted the occasion as a milestone in promoting tourism in Nepal. "We are very happy to say that Nepal can lure more tourists from Europe," said Aditya Baral, director of Nepal Tourism Board. "Nepal is now more close to America and Europe than before," said Baral.

Turkish Airlines, which is ranked best in Europe for the third consecutive year, has shortened the time for travelers from Europe and United States of America. As Nepal receives over 200,000 tourists from Europe and America, the flights will make it easy for visitors travelling to Nepal.

"This is a great moment for us also. Turkish Airline is proud to start its maiden regular air service to Nepal. We will expect that Turkish Airline will have daily flights in the near future," said Sezgin SAGLAM, senior vice president, marketing and sales (II region).

"Introductory round trip fares are available from Istanbul to Kathmandu starting from 406 Euros (including taxes and fees). Additionally, for the first six months of operation to our new destination, there is a special offer for our Miles and Smiles members, with a reduction in the miles needed to redeem either award tickets or upgrades," said Adan Aykac, general manager, northern and Eastern India.

"It is the happiest moment for me to see direct connection between Turkey's capital Istanbul and Kathmandu. The two cities have many things to share as there are many cultural similarities. I used to spend more than 14 hours to come to Nepal. After the introduction of the flight, the time is shortened to just 6 hours now," said professor DR. F Gunseli Makoc, honorary consulate general of Nepal to Turkey.

Talking to this scribe, Joy Dewan, managing director of Zenith Travels Pvt. Ltd, GSA of Turkish Airlines in Nepal, said this is the first time since the suspension of flights by German Airline Lufthansa, Nepal is once again directly connected to Europe. "It will definitely increase the volume of passengers."

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