Himalaya Airlines, a Nepal – China joint venture, has commenced highly anticipated Kathmandu-Shanghai-Kathmandu air service on Sunday, December 2. “This historic event marks a significant milestone in Himalaya Airlines’ commitment to enhancing connectivity and promoting bilateral ties between Nepal and China,” states the airlines in a press release.
“The new Kathmandu-Shanghai-Kathmandu route offers passengers seamless travel options between the capital city of Nepal and the central coastal city of China, known for the country’s biggest city and a global financial hub.”This direct link between the cities reflects Himalaya Airlines’ dedication in providing convenient, safe, and efficient travel, adds the press release.
The first outbound flight, H9 780, departed from Tribhuvan International Airport at 09:50 hours with a flight duration of 4 hours and 7 minutes. A total of 137passengers along with an infant boarded the first flight.
Initially operating weekly flight on every Saturday effective December 02, 2023, the service will increase to twice a week, on every Saturdays and Wednesdays, starting from December 20, 2023, according to the airlines. “This signifies the third direct connection Himalaya Airlines establishes between China and Nepal, alongside regular flight operations to Beijing and Qingdao.”
The inaugural flight event was attemded by the Xie Yu, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the People’s Republic of China to Nepal as the chief guest along with Pratap Babu Tiwari, General Manager, Tribhuvan International Airport and with other dignitaries who were welcomed by Zhou Enyong, President, and Vijay Shrestha, Vice-President of Himalaya Airlines.
“The longstanding aviation history shared by Nepal and China, spanning two decades since China initiated its inaugural passenger flights to Nepal. Over this extensive period, China has emerged as the leading contributor of airlines serving Nepal, with a total of 6 airlines from China operating alongside Himalaya Airline,” remarked Vijay Shrestha.
“Himalaya Airlines is getting ready to expand its destinations this month, including Chongqing and Lhasa in its upcoming flights where Lhasa will be the most historical flight connection between Nepal and China.”
“Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, is working closely with all the related stakeholders and are committed to expand the terminal infrastructure, exploring ways to facilitate passengers and airlines to further opening with transit facilities with the support and cooperation of all the stakeholders.” remarked Pratap Tiwari. “With the challenging times of the Covid period, we are back to the pre Covid period as we are witnessing significant increase in the passenger traffic with almost 14 thousand passengers inbound and outbound each day with around 100 daily flights. “
Xie Yuon in his key address, extended congratulations to Himalaya Airlines for the commencement of the inaugural flight from Kathmandu to Shanghai. “The airline’s success in broadening its network, starting from the maiden flights to Beijing and Qingdao and now culminating in Shanghai, marks a significant milestone.”