China Southern Airlines keen on flying to Nepal

Kathmandu, October 26:

The China Southern Airlines has sought approval by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to fly on Guangzhou-Kathmandu sector, said a source at the Tourism Ministry.

Yagya Gautam, joint-secretary at the Tourism Ministry, confirmed that the government has received the airline’s application seeking the government’s nod to fly to Nepal from Guangzhou.

“We are yet to consider China Southern Airlines’ interest to begin its operations in Nepal since we haven’t received all the required documents,” he told this daily. The ministry will begin the process once all the requirements are met through diplomatic channels, he said

Guangzhou is a gateway to Southern China and it is one of the major trading provinces of China. “Since Guangzhou is one of the main business centres in China, the airline’s operation on the concerned sector will strengthen ties between China and Nepal,” said Keshav Khanal, deputy director general at the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.

The government had recently given the green signal to Etihad Airways, an airline from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to fly on Dubai-Kathmandu sector. The airline can fly to Nepal once it receives a flight schedule from CAAN, said Gautam. However, CAAN is yet to receive the airline’s request for a flight schedule, according to Khanal.

Air Arabia, from the UAE is expected to begin its operations on Sharjah-Kathmandu sector from November 7. The government is considering allowing Thailand’s Orient Thai to operate scheduled flights from Bangkok to Kathmandu while Korean Air is planning to operate chartered flights to Kathmandu.