Himalaya Airlines conducts test flight to Lhasa


Himalaya Airlines, a Nepal-China joint venture airline has conducted a test flight to Lhasa today.

As the airline company is preparing to begin flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa from summer this year, the test flight was conducted today.

The test flight H9 961 departed from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) today to Lhasa Gonggar International Airport. Captain Hao Di, vice-president of operations at Himalaya Airlines, led the test flight crew including senior level captains who will carry out three different approaches at Lhasa airport for the validation flight.

According to the company, it has inducted a brand new narrow-body A319-115 aircraft registered as H9-AJK on March 2 especially for high-altitude operations. Configured with 120 economy and eight business class seats, the aircraft has modifications for high-altitude operations and capabilities to operate trans-Himalayan routes with aerodromes elevation to maximum 14,500 feet.

The airline company has been working on this high-altitude operation to Lhasa since last year.

Vijay Shrestha, vice-president of the airline firm, said, “It is indeed a pride for Himalaya to be the first and only foreign airline to land at Lhasa Gonggar International Airport.

Complying with CAAN requirements for high-altitude operations, this test flight shall ensure the operational viability on this sector.”

The test flight is planned for the verification of RNP-AR approaches besides the conventional approaches at Lhasa Gonggar International Airport which has an elevation of 3,570 metres (11,711 feet).

Currently, the airline is operating flights to Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Doha, Dhaka, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Chongqing.