Nepal's Himalaya Airlines Eyes China Flights

Nepal's Himalaya Airlines Eyes China Flights

March 25, 2018, 1:44 p.m.

Himalaya Airlines (H9, Kathmandu) has implored the Nepali government to review its air services agreement with China citing disparity in the number of Nepali and Chinese airlines running flights between the two countries.

The Kathmandu Post reports that although Nepal Airlines (RA, Kathmandu) was designated to serve Guangzhou in 2015, it was never able to launch flights given a lack of access to the Chinese airfield. The general inaccessibility of major Chinese gateways has resulted in the China-Nepal market being dominated entirely by Chinese carriers - Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Tibet Airlines, and Uni-Top Airlines (cargo) - with no Nepali competition to speak of.

As it stands, Himalaya Airlines, which is backed by Chinese capital, has sought to serve each of Shanghai Pudong, Shenzhen, and Wuhan from Kathmandu. For the Shanghai route, service is set at 7x weekly.

“We plan to connect all these four destinations this year if the government gives the go-ahead,” Vijay Shrestha, vice-president, administration, of Himalaya Airlines, told the paper. “We have charted out this aggressive plan to meet the targets of the government and the private sector to attract 2.5 million or more tourists annually. The target looks attainable if we focus on two giant economies, India and China, that are our neighbours."

Several of China's major airports, including Shanghai Pudong and Beijing Capital, are currently restricted by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) from adding any new routes.

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