India based budget carrier, Indigo Airline began operating direct flights in the Kathmandu/ Delhi sector from October 28. Since commencing its operations in Aug/ 2006, IndiGo has been able to establish itself as one of India’s leading airline. IndiGo , which is the 29th international airline to fly to Nepal has a fleet of 39 airbus aircrafts. With the entry of low –cost carrier, the Kathmandu-Delhi sector fare is expected to be much more competitive.At present, five Indian carriers :Air India, Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways, Jet Lite and Spice Jet, operate flights to Nepal.
Considering the increasing number of air passengers along the Hong Kong- Kathmandu route and Nepal Tourism year 2011, Dragonair , which currently operates three flights a week along the Hong Kong – Kathmandu route will be flying daily from September this year. According to the company, additional flights will provide better facilities to the passengers and also contribute to NTY-2011.
Malaysia based low-cost carrier, AirAsia will be operating direct flights along the Kuala Lampur-Kathmandu route from June, 2011. The company will begin operations with two flights a week. AirAsia is Asia’s largest budget airline and a pioneer of low-cost travel in Asia.
Goma Air, a newly established domestic airline company will be conducting flights in the Western Nepal from its base in Surkhet. To conduct flights, the company has purchased two single-engine Cessna Caravan aircraft costing around $2.5 million from the US-based Kenmore Air Harbor, Inc.The company aims to provide services in Mugu, Bajang, Bajura and Doti in the first phase and expand its flights to other remote areas. Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) issued the Air Operator Certificate to Goma Air, which permits the company to operate chartered, cargo and scheduled passenger services.
Buddha Air has finally launched its flight to the north Indian city of Lucknow. The Kathmandu-Lucknow-Kathmandu flight was launched on Friday, January 7th 2011. Buddha Air will be operating three flights a week on a 42-seater ATR aircraft on this sector. The fares (excluding taxes) has been fixed at Rs 5,600 for ´C´ class, Rs 7,200 for ´B´ class and Rs 8,800 for ´A´ class.
An Air Service Agreement (ASA) was signed between Nepal and Turkey to begin direct air service between the two countries.The agreement was signed at Turkey’s capital Ankara by Nepal’s MoTCA Secretary,Mr.Kishor Thapa and Dr Ali Ariduru, Director General, Civil Aviation Department of Turkey following talks between the two nations on 23rd & 24th September 2010.As per the agreement, both the countries can operate 14 flights per week along the the Kathmandu-Istanbul route.
SpiceJet Ltd, a low cost private airline based in India will be launching flights on the Kathmandu-New Delhi route from 7th October 2010.According to Zenith Travels, the General Sales Agent (GSA) of the airlines, SpiceJet is the first Indian budget carrier to fly internationally.Ticket price for the KTM-NDL route has been fixed at Rs 1,499 IC (PSF, UDF, fuel charges & Govt. taxes extra).The airline will be operating six flights a week on its New Generation Boeing 737-800 (189 seater) aircraft.
Oman Air, the national carrier of Oman, will be launching Kathmandu- Muscat flights from 2nd September, 2010.The airline will be operating 4 flights a week -on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.The flights will be operated on a B737-700 aircraft, offering business and economy class cabins.