Himalaya Airlines to fly to Colombo from Oct 1

Kathmandu, September 20

Himalaya Airlines, a Nepal-China joint venture airline, has announced it is operating direct flights to Colombo, Sri Lanka, from October 1.

Colombo is the second scheduled destination of the airline after Doha, Qatar. The joint venture carrier had started its first scheduled flight to Doha from May 31 this year.

Organising a press conference here today, officials of Himalaya Airlines said that it will fly A320-214 Airbus, configured with eight business class and 150 economy class seats, to the new destination. The airline will conduct three flights to the Sri Lankan capital in a week, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The Kathmandu-Colombo flight will be of four hours, according to the airline officials.

“We received an overwhelming response from the previous two non-scheduled flights to Colombo. We found much potential in this route after also analysing the air traffic data between the two countries over the last several years,” Vijay Shrestha, vice-president, administration of Himalaya Airlines, said, adding that flying to Colombo will also promote tourism between the two nations along with generating new business opportunities.

The airline has appointed Classic Travel as its general sales agent (GSA), which is responsible for the airline’s sale and marketing, market development, reservations and ticket services. According to the airline, one-way airfare to Colombo starts from Rs 29,191, while roundtrip airfare has been fixed at Rs 50,041, inclusive of all government taxes.

Raju KC, general manager of the airline, opined that direct flight to Colombo would help promote bilateral trade relationships between the two nations. KC also informed that the airline will soon launch its next direct flight to New Delhi.

The airline plans to acquire 15 Airbus 320 aircraft over next five years. The airline has also unveiled its plan to introduce long haul wide-body aircraft of A330 family in the future to operate direct flights to Japan, Korea, Europe and Australia.

Tibet Airlines holds 48.99 per cent equity capital in the company, while the Nepali side holds 51.01 per cent.