KATHMANDU: After an interval of five years, a Dutch airline company, Arkefly, is all set to resume direct flights from Amsterdam to Kathmandu. Its direct air service that began in 2001 was stopped on April 18, 2005 citing low bookings.

Earlier, Martin Air, Transavia, ( KLM), operated in the sector between 1998 to 2001. There

is no direct flight to Kathmandu from anywhere in Europe now as many of the airlines cancelled their flight services to Nepal due to poor business.

The flight is chartered by TUI, a Dutch travel company. The inaugural flight is on October 7. This will be the only flight that will connect Nepal to Europe directly. With this flight, travel time will come down to a maximum of 12 hours from

22 hours and flight costs will also go down. Airline officials say there will be a short refuelling stopover in Manama, Bahrain.

According to statistics over 7000 tourists from the Netherlands arrived in Nepal via air. The direct flight is also likely to attract visitors from Belgium and Germany while at the same time providing service to increasing numbers of Nepalese in nearby regions. The official flight will start from October 17. Arkefly is a Dutch low-cost airline based at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and was established in 2005. It offers short, medium and long-haul flights as well

as charter service to various destinations like

the Mediterranean, Caribbean, North Africa and South America.