Kathmandu: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has granted approval to China’s Tibet Airlines, which will fly four days a week on Kathmandu-Chengdu-Kathmandu route. It will be the fifth Chinese airlines entering into the Nepali market.
“Growth in tourist movement, business and trade opportunities has encouraged more and more chinese carriers to fly to Nepal,” Kathmandu post quoted Subash Jha, deputy director of Air Transport Division at CAAN as saying.
The Lhasa-based Tibet Airlines will be joining the Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) from July 20, thus enhancing air connectivity with five airlines from the northern neighbour. China has announced Nepal Tourism Promotion Year 2017 in a bid to encourage its citizens to visit the Himalayan republic.
Currently, four Chinese carriers-Air China, China Southern, China Eastern and Sichuan Airlines are operating flights to Nepal.
China Southern operates two daily flights on the Kathmandu-Guangzhou route, while China Eastern and Air China operate daily flights linking Kathmandu with Kunming and Lhasa, respectively. Sichuan operates four weekly flights on the Chengdu-Lhasa- Kathmandu sector.
“Despite the growth in airlines, the airfare in the routes has not become competitive still,” said Jha.
Nepal and China signed a bilateral air services agreement (ASA) in February 2014, allowing 70 flights a week on a reciprocal basis from 2016.