Nepalese Aviation Heading to ‘Go Safe’



Honorable Mr. Ram Kumar Shrestha Minister for Tourism, culture and civil aviation inaugurating the program

06 May, 2013, Kathmandu

A five day long Training Workshop (6th-10th May, 2013) has been initiated today at Gokarna Safari Resort, Kathmandu as a Part of “Aviation Safety Awareness Campaign” by the Airline Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN). Having troubled by the highest rate of accident in last five years, Nepalese Sky has become a matter of concern to everyone including foreign Tourists and the Insurance Companies.  With an intention to enhance the level of Air Safety and also educate concerned user groups including reinsurance Companies worldwide, the Industry has stepped with an initial program on SMS (Safety Management System) with 160 Participants from 17 different Airline Companies including Pilots, Engineers, Managers, Ground Crew, etc. with the assistance of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) certified trainers provided by the World Food Program. The training has been supported by many organizations like Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, IFC (a member of the World Bank group), Yeti Airlines and many other partners.


Training on the progress

During the Inauguration Program, Honorable Ram Kumar Shrestha, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation cited STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) operation and the extreme topographical adversities as main causes of Air Accidents in Nepal. He also explained on government’s efforts to strengthen the situation of Aviation Safety in the Country.


Participants on a genuine discussion

Mr. Tri Ratna Manandhar, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal appreciated Private Sector Stake Holders’ efforts in initiating the Air Safety Campaign and ensured every support from the Civil Aviation Authority regarding such interests.

Capt. Samir Sajet, Chief of the Aviation Safety Unit, Mr. Valintino Bagatsing, IFC Resident Representative and Ms. Nicole Menage, Chief of WFT Nepal Office shared sights on Air Safety situation of Nepal and ensured every support from their side to help Nepal come out of this situation in future.


Aviation personals attending the training

Capt. Rameshwor Thapa, President of AWON concluded the event with commitment from the side of Nepalese Aviation Industry to practice ‘Safe Flying’ and invited everyone concerned to join hands with the Industry in this mission. He also thanked all concerned including the event host, Gokarna Safari Resort.

PATA Nepal Chapter is the Industry Partner of this event and helping to integrate Nepalese Tourism Industry including Nepal Tourism Board and the International Partners to join hands in this initiation to make Nepal a “Safe Air Travel” destination.


International and national participants

The Opening Ceremony followed by sessions on Technical Presentations includes:

  1. Workshop A- Threat and Error Management by Capt. Peter Stein (Johansen Control – FSF) and Thomas Anthony (University of Southern California).
  2. Workshop B- Safety Reporting System- The need to have the State in the Loop by Mr. Antonio Pelaez (SENASA)
  3. Workshop C- Safety Management System Training by Ms. Ghadier Khattari (RJ Airlines) and Mr. Kamal Tariq (DIAL, IGIA)
  4. Workshop D- Quality Aviation for Operation by Mr. Matthew Wickens (Emirates Airlines.)


Good listeners on a serious topic

Prepared and circulated by:

Suman Pandey

Chairman-PATA Nepal Chapter

General Secretary-Airline Operators Association of Nepal



Mr. Suman Pandey- President Explore Himalaya attending the training

Flight to Lukla – One of the world’s most thrilling rides

The flight to Lukla in the Everest Region is one of the most thrilling experiences. Apart from the stunning vista of +8000m peaks and snowy Himalayan ranges, the heart racing touchdown and take-off experience at the airport runway (which is perched on a cliff) is guaranteed to give one goosebumps. No wonder the Tenzing Hillary airport has made it as one of the “World’s Thrilling Airports.” According to a report on CNNGO, has compiled a list  of the world’s most thrilling airports and Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla is one of them.

lukla airport

The runway at Tenzing-Hillary Airport (pic: EH archive)

The Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla  was built in 1964 at the initiative of the Himalayan Trust to ease the transportation of cargo and building materails for the trust's educational projects in Everest Region. Prior to the establishment of the airport, locals as well as trekkers and mountaineers had to make an ardous trek lasting several days from Jiri to reach the Sherpa villages in Everest region. With the building of the airport, life has become much easier for the Khumbu locals as well as tourist visiting the Everest Region. In 2008 Nepal Government named the airport Tenzing-Hillary Airport in honor of Everest heroes and the first climbers to conquer Mount Everest, Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary.

Read about it on CNNGO “World's most 'thrilling' airports, where thrilling = terrifying

Take a flight to Lukla & Trek to Everest Base Camp

Airlines from Asia & Middle East dominate Skytrax’s 2012 World Airline Awards

Skytrax’s annual 'World Airline Awards' were announced recently at Farnborough International Airshow in UK. Qatar Airlines bagged the coveted ‘World’s Best Airline’ award for the second consecutive year, while Asiana Airlines from South Korea and Singapore Airlines won the second and third spots. 18 million international fliers voted between July 2011 and June 2012 on different aspects of airline passenger experience to choose the winners. This years award was dominated by airlines from Middle east and Asia. Etihad was adjudged the ‘Best First Class Airline’, Cathay Pacific the ‘Best Business Class Airline’, and AirAsia the Best Low-Cost Airline

AirAsia X set to launch Kuala Lumpur-KTM flights from 3rd July

The much awaited launch of Malaysia’s budget airline AirAsia X flight between Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur and Kathmandu is scheduled for 3rd July,2012. The airline will be operating flights between the two capitals twice a week,on Tuesdays and Thursdays on its 370-seater Airbus A330-300. AirAsia X recently opened booking, with one-way tickets priced at Rs 11,000 (excluding taxes). The general sales agent (GSA) of AirAsia X in Nepal is Incentive Tours and Travels. 

New airlines to launch flight on the Kathmandu- Kuala Lumpur route

While national carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is the lone carrier plying on the Malaysian (Kathmandu-Kuala Lumpur) route, competition is now heating up as three new airlines are about to join the fray. Budget carrier AirAsia, Malaysia’s flag carrier Malaysia Airlines and BB Airways are all planning to operate on Kathmandu-Kuala Lumpur route. AirAsia has planned to launch flights on the route by the end of June, Malaysia Airlines from Sept 1st and BB Airways by Sept 13th. The Air Service Agreement (ASA) between Nepal and Malaysia allows Malaysian carriers to operate up to 21 flights a week.

Buddha Air’s begins operation of its aircraft hangar – The Largest in Nepal

Buddha Air,a private Nepalese airline company, brought into operation its own hangar (wide structure used for housing airplanes or airships ) at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) fromApril 18th, 2012. The almost 37,000 square feet hanger, which was set up at a cost of $ 2.5 million, is the largest in the country. The closed door hangar has a capacity to accommodate an Airbus 320 or a Boeing 737 on its 15,500 square feet ground floor. It features workshop facilities for a range of services like nozzle cleaning lab and wheel/brake workshop with adequate special tools and equipment. .Buddha Air has built the hangar on leased land in TIA for which it will have to pay Rs 6.5 million to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) on annual basis. The private airline is also planning to add a new 72-seater aircraft to its fleet.

CAAN to reopen eight domestic airports in Western Nepal

Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is planning to resume airport operations in eight areas, all lying in the remote corners of western Nepal.The domestic airports at Kamalbajar, Tikapur, Darchula, Mahendranagar, Baitadi, Achham, Doti, and Baluwa were closed about a decade ago citing insufficient air traffic. But now the government is all set to begin operations at these airports taking into consideration growing demand from the public. CAAN has already conducted test flights at Accham, Doti, and Baluwa and is all set to reopen these airports soon. 

Buddha Air to launch flights to Varanasi & Kolkatta

Buddha Air, a private Nepali airline company will be operating flights to the Indian cities of Varanasi and Kolkatta. Beginning March 1, 2012 the airline will be launching its Varanasi flights from Kathmandu.  According to the airline, the Varanasi flights will be launched targetting pilgrims from both the countries. The  flights will be operated 4 days a week on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The flight to Kolkatta is slated for a September launch.