Oct 03, 2016 (LBO) – Himalaya Airlines, a Nepal-China Joint Venture Airline, has conducted its maiden commercial flight from Kathmandu to Colombo on 1st October 2016.
With two flights a week, operating as H9 673, Himalaya will fly every Tuesday and Saturday departing from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu at 1130 hours and will arrive in Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo at 1515 hours.
The return H9 674 departs from Colombo at 1615 hours, arriving Kathmandu at 2015 hours on the same day. The airline will fly its A3200214 configured with 8 Business Class and 150 Economy Class seats.
The proposal to establish direct flights on the Kathmandu-Colombo-Kathmandu route was revived during the 18th SAARC Summit held in Kathmandu in 2014.
Subsequently, the Sri Lankan Government officially applied for authorization to conduct daily flights between the two countries with Colombo-based carrier Mihin Lanka.
In March 2015, the Tourism Ministry had issued an operating authorization to the carrier. But the proposal was abandoned after last year’s devastating earthquake.
“The Direct Air-Connectivity between Kathmandu and Colombo materialized due to the tireless efforts of this Mission,” Embassy of Sri Lanka in Kathmandu said.
The Government of Nepal on 1st May 2016 has designated the Himalaya Airlines to operate direct air service in KTM-CMB-KTM sector.
“Sri Lanka is the fourth largest tourist source market for Nepal after India, China and USA. A total of 37,546 Sri Lankans visited Nepal in 2014.”
At present 90 percent of Sri Lankans visit Nepal via India to pay homage to Buddhist sites in Lumbini.
“The operation of direct flights between Kathmandu and Colombo is a great encouragement for tourism entrepreneurs to increase number of tourists,” Embassy of Sri Lanka in Kathmandu said.
“Re-establishment of direct air links would boost trade relations between the two countries, and further strengthened the bilateral relations.”
The airfare offered by the airline starts from 29,191 Nepalese Rupees for one way and 50,041 Nepalese Rupees for round trip, inclusive of Government taxes.