Himalaya Airlines plans to start ops by March-end

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 27, 2016-

Himalaya Airlines, a new Nepal-China joint-venture company, plans to launch its international commercial operations by the March-end.

The airlines had earlier planned to launch its scheduled flights from October 2014, but the plan was deferred due to some technical problems, including the devastating April 25 earthquake. 

“We are in full preparation to launch the commercial service,” said Vijay Shrestha, vice president - administration at Himalaya Airlines. “We hope to begin the service soon.”

Initially, Himalaya had planned to operate Kathmandu-Lhasa flights to become the second international carrier linking directly to the highest cities in the world after Air China, but the plan has been changed as the Airbus A320 aircraft cannot land at Lhasa airport. Shrestha said they were considering routes like New Delhi, Doha and Kuala Lumpur, to make the maiden flight with the A320 aircraft. 

Himalayan Infrastructure Fund Aviation Investment and Yeti World Investment together have a 51 percent stake in the company, while Tibet Airlines owns 49 percent. The company has a paid-up capital of $25 million.

It to link to various Asian and Middle-East countries in the first phase of the operation and start long-haul services to European cities in the second phase.  

Recently, the airline had signed a long-term service agreement with Sri Lankan Airline’s aviation integrated training academy, Sri Lankan Training, to receive A320 family simulator training for ab initio pilots and cabin crew.

International passenger traffic through Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) dropped 6 percent to 2.66 million in the first 10 months of 2015, largely due to the April 25 earthquake and a shortage of aviation fuel resulting from India’s unofficial trade embargo against Nepal.

Currently, 26 international and two Nepali airlines fly to 23 destinations in 13 countries from Nepal. The country has signed air service agreements with 38 countries so far, the latest being New Zealand and Vietnam.

Caan re-categorises Saurya Airlines’ service

KATHMANDU: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has re-categorized the service of the Saurya Airlines to “charter” from “commercial passenger” after it failed to procure second aircraft. According to Caan’s Director General Sanjiv Gautam, the carrier did not procure new aircraft in the stipulated time under the Air Operator Certificate Regulation 2012 requirement, which seeks carriers to have at least two aircraft to operate commercial service. Airlines are required to procure their second aircraft within six months after buying or leasing the first one. Gautam said the carrier will be allowed to operate commercial passenger services only after it acquires the second aircraft. Saurya started its commercial operation in Nov 2014 with a Bombardier CRJ-200 series aircraft and had planned acquired another plane within one and half months. (PR)


Published: 27-01-2016 08:55

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