As Nepal is celebrating Visit Nepal Year 2020 with a target to bring two million tourists, Japanese visitors will be a very important segment of visitors in achieving the target. This is the reason Minister for Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai took a personal initiative to resume the flights to Osaka from his day one in office.
Although Nepal Airlines Corporation had initiated the process to resume its flights almost a year ago, this did not materialize until Minister Bhattarai took the tourism portfolio.
"Since the establishment of diplomatic relations six decades ago, Nepal-Japan relations have remained warm and friendly. Resuming the flights to Osaka is a matter of pride for us," said Minister Bhattarai, addressing a program organized in Embassy of Japan in Kathmandu. "We are planning to triple the arrival of Japanese tourists in the coming days," the Minister added.
At a function attended by a delegation of the Women Parliamentarians from Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), led by Tomomi INADA, Chief Deputy Secretary-General, LDP and Former Minister of Defense, along with Fusae OTA, Member, House of Councillors, and Mio SUGITA, Member, House of Representatives, Ambassador of Japan to Nepal Masamichi Saigo, Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board Deepak Raj Joshi, Campaign Coordinator of Visit Nepal Year 2020 Suraj Vaidya, senior government officials from Ministry and NAC and businessmen, Minister Bhattarai said that Nepal always gives high priority to the relations with Japan.
The promotional event of the launching of direct flights to Japan operated by Nepal Airlines was organized by Visit Nepal 2020 campaign, co-organized by the Embassy of Japan, Nepal Airlines and the Nepal Tourism Board.
The three members of parliament from Japan also addressed the program along with Ambassador of Japan to Nepal Saigo. They also talked about issues of mutual interest and the good and cordial relations since bilateral relations began from 1956. The delegation members also expressed the need of strengthening the bilateral relationship that was underpinned by people-to-people exchanges and enhancing exchanges of parliamentarians between Japan and Nepal.
CEO of Nepal Tourism Board Joshi said that NTB will launch various promotional activities in Japan to attract more Japanese tourists in 2020. NAC's Country Manager to Osaka is Santosh Pandey and head of NAC Commercial Department Sabina Shakya.
Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has resumed its flight to Osaka, Japan, from August 29. Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Bhattarai, Minister of State Dhan Bahadur Budha and Secretary Kedar Bahadur Adhikari and ambassador of Nepal to Japan Saigo inaugurated the flight distributing the boarding pass to the passengers at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
Minister Bhattarai said that flying east or to where the sun dawns indicates good future for Nepal Airlines and extended well wishes for NAC to expand additional destinations.
Executive Chairman of NAC Madan Kharel said that Nepal-Japan flights were possible due to all out positive support from all different stakeholders.
He also said that the positive support given by different stakeholders to resume flights to Osaka encouraged NAC to move ahead to expand additional destinations. Executive Chairperson Kharel said that NAC expects profit with service and profit is the gradual result. He said that NAC targets to carry 35000 passengers out of 43.000 capacity available arguing that the target will not be achievable immediately but it will be achieved through continual certainty.
NAC will fly Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday to Osaka. For now the promotional fair is Rs.72,800 for two ways and Rs.37,000 for one way. The flight left 2:30 AM on Thursday, August 29, from Kathmandu and returned at noon from Osaka and reached Kathmandu at 6 PM on that day. In the first flight, 146 passengers boarded.
As part of further promotional activities regarding Nepal-Japan direct flight, NAC announced a lottery in each flight offering the winner a free ticket between Osaka and Kathmandu. Nepal Airlines expects that the number of passengers will increase in the coming days.