Etihad Airways connects Kathmandu with Tokyo

KATHMANDU: Etihad Airways, the national airline of United Arab Emirates, has started a non-stop flights from Abu Dhabi to Tokyo making it more convienient for the passengers to fly to and from Tokyo linking Kathmandu.

The daily flights will link Kathmandu with Abu Dhabi and Tokyo very conveniently without passengers having to wait for hours in transit.

The inaugural flight — EY878 — departed Abu Dhabi on March 27 and landed at Narita Airport in Tokyo yesterday making it the first Middle Eastern airline to expand its service to the Japanese capital. The flights will be operated by three-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft and will feature in-flight services dedicated to the Japanese market, including a tailored menu, local in-flight entertainment content and cabin crew consisting of a number of Japanese speakers and nationals.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ CEO said Etihad was delighted to be the first Middle Eastern carrier to operate to Tokyo, and was expecting a high volume of traffic on the route, particularly business travellers.

“We also believe the variety of high profile attractions opening in Abu Dhabi in the coming years, including Ferrari World, The Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, will

be very attractive to Japanese leisure travellers,” he said, adding that Japan is a key

market for Etihad.

Meanwhile, the Executive Board of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) on Monday released its forecasts of tourism demand across the Asia Pacific region for the next three years. At the aggregate level, international arrival numbers are predicted to increase by an average of around 2.7 per cent each year.

Not surprisingly, these forecasts show a significant slowing in growth rates from the pre-financial crisis level of seven percent per annum. According to PATA Chairman Phornsiri Manoharn, the three-year projections are very much dependent on what course the global economy will follow.

Buddha Air to fly to Bhutan

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has permitted Buddha Air to begin international flights. Buddha Air has been granted permission to launch flights on Pokhara-Lucknow, Janakpur-Patna and Kathmandu-Thimphu routes. The flights to Bhutan will be launched within one-and-a-half month. However, flights on Patna-Lucknow route will take a little while. Buddha Air will launch internal flights through its 47-seater ATR 42 planes that are considered regional crafts. Gradually, the service will be provided through 66-seater ATR 72 plane. Buddha Air will make four to six flights a week to neigbouring Bhutan.