Buddha Air, a private airlines company, has started direct flight from Pokhara to Nepalgunj, cutting short the long hours of road transport between these two cities to half-an-hour.

Earlier, it would take around 14 hours to reach Nepalgunj from Pokhara and vice versa by road.

According to Pokhara station manager Gautam Baral, to begin with, there will be three flights between these cities every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Plan to commence direct flight since May 1 was stalled due to the prohibitory order imposed to contain the second wave of COVID-19, said station manager Baral.

The flights will begin at 9:10am from Pokhara and the one-way fare ranges from Rs 4,935 to Rs 7,635.

Likewise, flight from Nepalgunj is scheduled at 10:00am. Buddha Air's 18-seater Beechcraft 1900D model will operate these flights. The direct flights between these two cities are expected to boost tourism.

Tourists, enjoying the scenic beauty of the Lake City, Pokhara, can relish the natural destinations in Nepalgunj as well. Banke, where Nepalgunj lies, is home to several tourist destinations such as Banke National Park and Chisapani on the banks of the Karnali River.

Similarly, tourists can fly to other remote destinations in the hilly areas such as Rara Lake from Nepalgunj, said Chairperson of Nepal Tours and Travels Agents' Gandaki Province chapter Sanjay Kant Sigdel.

Due to direct flight from Nepalgunj to Pokhara and vice versa, Pokhara is expected to receive encouraging number of Indian tourists as well as other foreigner tourists from cities in India such as Lucknow, Kanpur and Delhi, among others.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 2 2021, of The Himalayan Times.