At a time when Nepal is regarded as one of the most expensive destinations to fly because of lack of enough number of airlines, NAC’s decision to resume scheduled flights to Dubai from August 18 will be significant as it is expected to reduce the fares resulting in the increase in the number of tourists.
Following the earthquake, Nepal’s tourism industry was badly hurt with the number of visiting tourists declining. With the resumption of flights to Dubai, a major commercial hub, the number of tourists visiting Nepal is likely to increase.
With an aim to launch flights worldwide following adding two wide body aircraft, NAC has announced regular scheduled flights to Dubai of United Arab Emirates (UAE) starting August 18.
The national flag carrier announced commencement of regular flights to Dubai International Airport from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) three days a week — Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The return flights will land at TIA on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“After the flight to Duabi, we are also planning to fly to Chinese city Gunzao. With the new wide body plane expected to join the airlines, we will also start our flight to long distances,” said Managing director Sugat Ratna Kansakar, announcing the new schedule.
Marking the commencement of the new route, NAC is offering special promotional fare of Rs 40,000 for round trip and Rs 19,000 for one-way.
The national flag carrier will use its Airbus A320 aircraft for Dubai flights. NAC will take off for Dubai at 23:30 hours (local time) from Kathmandu and arrive at Dubai at 02:00 hours (local time). The duration of Kathmandu-Dubai flight is around four hours and 15 minutes. The return flights will leave Dubai at 04:10 hours (local time) and land in Kathmandu at 10:10 hours.
NAC has appointed Dubai-based Anta Travels as its general sales agent (GSA) in UAE. “We have also NAC plans to start flights to Kolkata (India), Guangzhou (China) and Dammam (Saudi Arabia) in the near future,” said NAC Spokesperson Ramhari Sharma.
NAC has been operating its Boeing flights to Bangalore, Bangkok, Doha and Kuala Lumpur, while narrow-body Airbus jets flew to New Delhi, Mumbai and Hong Kong. NAC offers domestic services to a few destinations with its MA 60 and Y12e and two twin-otters.
Although NAC is a national flag carrier, it hardly receives the full support from the government. Had the government backed the NAC, Nepalese airlines would have dozens of aircraft connecting different parts of the world.