“Nepal remains a close friend of China and China always supports Nepal. As a friend in need is a friend indeed, China is always with Nepal in its efforts to economic prosperity and development,” declared Chinese ambassador to Nepal Wu Chuntai at a program to launch Himalaya Airlines, a Nepalese and Chinese joint venture.
From hydropower to road construction and aviation, China has been supporting Nepal. As China became the largest country in terms of Foreign Investment in Nepal, the remarks by the Chinese ambassador are significant in this context.
At a time when Nepalese and foreign tourists visiting Nepal have been paying high fares in international flights due to lack of reliable domestic airline, newly launched Himalaya Airlines has generated new hopes that the international air fare will likely to come down. Himalaya Airlines will schedule its flights from October.
“Nepal has witnessed consistent growth of tourism and international air passenger traffic over the last several years. So far international airlines from different countries are supporting the growth of tourism and air passengers’ traffic in Nepal. We strongly believe that an indigenous international airline will help to bring about exponential growth in air passengers traffic thereby contributing overall tourism and economic growth in the country. With this collective thought in mind, Himalaya Airlines has entered the joint venture,” said Prithvi Bahadur Pande, chairman of HIF Aviation Company Pvt Ltd.
With the signing of the agreement by Prithvi Bahadur Pande, chairman of HIF Aviation Company Pvt Ltd, and chairman of Tibet Airlines Ltd Cheng Yiru, Himalaya Airlines finally came to be as such on August 20.
Himalaya Airlines will be managed by an experienced management team comprising foreign and Nepalese experts.
"The airline plans to operate in Asian routes in the initial phase with a fleet of Airbus 320 series Aircraft,” said Pande. “This is the first highest foreign investment in Nepal. We will conduct the process in a professional manner. With the investment of 1.5 billion dollars in the next five years, the joint venture will generate 1000 jobs and generate millions of rupees in revenues. Tourism has great potential to economically transform Nepal.”
At a function attended by large numbers of people from different walks of life, Chinese ambassador to Nepal Wu Chuntai also addressed the ceremony. China and Nepal are friendly neighbors and China supports Nepal’s development including hydropower and tourism. Launching of Himalaya Airlines opens a new era in our relations,” said the Chinese ambassador. "As it is said friends in need are friends indeed, China is happy to support Nepal at the time when it needs help.”
With an aim at providing convenience of international travel to Nepalese travelers and foreign tourists as well as to help boost Nepalese economy, HIF Aviation Investment Company Pvt. Ltd and Yeti World Investment Company Pvt. Ltd from Nepal and Tibet Airlines Ltd from the People’s Republic of China joined hands to launch international air service under the joint venture agreement.
“Nepal and the People’s Republic of China have been friendly neighbors for centuries and are now coming together for comprehensive cooperative partnership for the operation of international airlines in Nepal. This will be the largest foreign direct investment in Nepal in the aviation sector,” said Pande.
Himalaya Airlines Pvt. Ltd (formerly known as Yeti International Pvt. Ltd) is the licensed international carrier and all three parties are teaming up to start air transport services. HIF Led by its chairman Prithvi Bahadur Pande, Aviation Company Pvt. Ltd is a company promoted by local entrepreneurs representing finance, tourism, hydro power sectors.
Led by Ang Tshiring, Yeti World Investment Private Ltd is an affiliate of Yeti Airlines Group of companies. Yeti Airlines Group has prominent presence in Nepal’s aviation, hotels, and tourism and insurance sectors. Tibet Airlines Ltd’s majority shares are jointly held by Air China, Tibet Provincial government and Tibet Airlines Pvt. Ltd is led by its chairman Cheng Yiru.
Tibet Airlines, the first worldwide high plateau airline started its operation in the year 2011 and currently it has a fleet of 9 Airbus 320 series aircraft and orders of 30 Airbus 320 series have been placed, according to press release. “Tibet Airlines will be providing all required technical and managerial and marketing support to make this joint venture a success,” said a press release.
Vijaya Shrestha, Executive Director of Yeti Airlines, said that opening of this new joint venture airlines is likely to bring drastic changes in the tourism sector.