Kathmandu, August 28
Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is resuming its flights to Japan after 12 years on Thursday morning.
The Airbus A330-200 series aircraft will be taking off at 2:30am on Thursday from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) to Osaka International Airport. The national flag carrier will fly to Osaka with 130 passengers. Of them, only 90 will be commercial passengers, while the remaining 40 seats will be occupied by representatives from NAC and Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA).
According to NAC Spokesperson Ganesh Kumar Chand, MoCTCA State Minister Dhan Bahadur Budha, MoCTCA Joint Secretary Suresh Acharya, six lawmakers, among others, including Chand himself are part of the government team.
NAC will operate Osaka flights three days a week — Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It takes around six-and-a-half hours to reach Osaka from Kathmandu. Prior to this, NAC had planned to operate the Osaka flights from July. However stating that flow of passengers is low till July-end, NAC decided to initiate the flights in August.
As a promotional offer, passengers flying to Japan can buy one-way ticket at Rs 36,999 per person, while the fare for roundtrip passengers has been set at Rs 72,814 per person, including value added tax.
Earlier, NAC had operated commercial flights in the Kathmandu-Osaka route twice a week in between 1994 and 2007. However, due to lack of aircraft and human resources, it had halted the service.
Even in those days, NAC used to suspend flights to Japan during monsoon when passenger flow declines.
The targeted passengers of NAC in Kathmandu-Osaka sector are Nepali students studying in Japan and Japanese tourists travelling to Nepal.
NAC is also preparing to operate flights to China and Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, NAC is also conducting a market study to operate flights to Vietnam, Bangladesh and Colombo at present. Currently, the NAC is operating international flights to Dubai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangkok and Qatar.
A version of this article appears in print on August 29, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.