Chartered flights between Pokhara and Nepalgunj have started at the initiative of Nepal Association of Tours and Travel Agents of Banke and Gandaki Province.

According to NATTA Chairperson Shreeram Sigdel, the start of the flights between the two places is expected to give some fillip to the tourism industry that has suffered a huge setback due to coronavirus pandemic . In the first flight, an 18-member team led by Nepalgunj sub-metropolis Chief Dhawal Shumsher Rana and comprising tourism entrepreneurs from Banke and Bardiya flew to Pokhara today.

Likewise, a team of tourism entrepreneurs from Pokhara is also said to fly to Nepalgunj and observe the tourism destinations of Banke and Bardiya. For long, tourism entrepreneurs of Banke had been asking the government to start flights between the two cities.

"We're planning to operate two flights between these cities in a week. We hope these flights will help promote tourism in both cities and provinces," said Tourism Promotion Forum, Banke, Coordinator Krishna Prasad Shrestha.

Up until now, Indian tourists wishing to fly to Pokhara from Nepalgunj are forced to make a flight to Kathmandu, from where they then fly to Pokhara.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 20, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.