Himalaya Airlines, a Nepal - China joint venture airline, has successfully conducted their first high altitude destination, Lhasa for a test flight on January 19, 2021. Lhasa is the religious and administrative capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, famous for its history and religious landmarks, attracting tourists from all over the world. The test flight operation is in line with company’s commercial plan to introduce scheduled flights to Lhasa during summer of 2021.
Captain Hao Di, Vice President-Operations, led the test flight crew including senior level captains who would carry out three different approaches at Lhasa airport for the validation flight.
The airlines inducted a brand new narrow body A319-115aircraft registered as H9-AJKon Mar 02, 2020 especially for high altitude operations. Configured with 120 economy and 08 business class seats the aircraft has modifications for high altitude operations & capabilities to operatetrans Himalayan routes with aerodromes elevation to maximum 14,500 ft.
Zhou Enyong, President of Himalaya Airlines expressed, “Himalaya team has been meticulously working on this high altitude operation to Lhasa since last year. Today’s test flight take off, has reinforced commitment to our key guiding principles of safety, team spirit and winning spirit. I would like to congratulate our team for the successful operation of validation flight and we are grateful to receive the support of civil aviation authorities of both the countries which has enabled us to carry out this mission effortlessly.”
Vijay Shrestha, Vice President – Administration remarked, “It is indeed a pride for Himalaya, to be the first and the only foreign airline to land at Lhasa Gonggar International Airport. Complying with CAAN requirements for high altitude operations, with this test flight Himalaya shall ensure the operational viability on this sector.We feel privileged to get the opportunity to strengthen the cross-border relationship and we are confident, post pandemic, this sector will significantly boost the tourist movement between Nepal and Tibet.”
The test flight is planned for the verification of RNP-AR approaches besides the conventional approaches at Lhasa Gonggar International Airport which has elevation of 3570 m equivalent to 11711 ft.
Himalaya Airlines, an international air carrier is a Nepal – China joint Venture established in August 2014. As the name ‘Himalaya’ symbolizes high mountains of Nepal, dedicated in service to uplift the name of the nation, Himalaya Airlines aspires to rise up in its name as a leading airline in South Asia. With the aim to excel in safety, on time performance (OTP) and most primarily, in service to its customers, H9 has already established itself in Nepal with high recognition.
Starting with one aircraft and one destination the Airlines has quickly moved its way to four aircraft and 7 destinations in a short span. The Airlines took off to its first destination: Doha, Qatar on May 31, 2016 and further expanded its network to other countries of Middle East Asia &South Asia: UAE, Malaysia, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh & China. H9 network currently includes: Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Doha, Dhaka, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing & Chongqing. Himalaya Airlines is the first and the only airline connecting Nepal to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with its historical connectivity to Dammam & currently is the only Nepali Airline operating flights to various prominent cities of China.
Himalaya Airlines currently has a fleet of three AirbusA320-214 configured with 180 all-economy seats and one Airbus A319-115 with 120 economy and 8 business seats. The Airlines is all set to start high altitude operations to Lhasa in summer of 2021 and plans to initiate flights to various new destinations as well.
In its first year of commercial operations, H9 received the international award for “Leading New International Airlines in South Asia” at South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) 2017. Recently in August 2020, H9 has successfully secured the prestigious certification of ISO 9001:2015 for Quality Management Systems (QMS).
H9 is continuously working towards developing high standards of services and expanding network to excel further and rise higher in the aviation sector. H9 team of professionals comes from a multicultural and diverse background and is dedicated to deliver highest quality of customer service with a sense of genuine Nepalese hospitality to its esteemed passengers, following the age-old tradition of “AtithiDevoBhava” – Guest is God.