KATHMANDU: Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is preparing to resume its Kathmandu-New Delhi service from February 25 with its newly bought aircraft — Airbus A320. In this regard, the national flag carrier has introduced a promotional package that will provide one-way service at Rs 8,200.
For Nepalis, the ticket will cost Rs 7,070 as Nepali citizens are not levied tourist service fee of Rs 1,130 at Tribhuvan International Airport.
In the initial phase, there will be four flights a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the Kathmandu-New Delhi sector with an instructor pilot from Airbus who will train NAC pilots. NAC has already appointed Bird Travels Pvt Ltd as the general sales agent (GSA) for Delhi and sent its officials there for necessary preparations.
“As it is the training period for our pilots, we will be making only four flights a week to Delhi,” said Ram Hari Sharma, spokesperson of NAC. He said that an instructor pilot of Airbus is scheduled to arrive soon to conduct flights along with NAC pilots. The instructor pilot will train NAC pilots for four months.
Normally, one-way service on the Kathmandu-Delhi sector costs between Rs 12,000 and Rs 15,000 and currently Jet Airways, Air India, Spice Jet and IndiGo have been operating over five dozen flights weekly in the sector. Due to lack of competition, the fares had increased to as high as Rs 30,000 during the peak tourism season of September-November last year, according to travel agencies.
The Kathmandu-New Delhi sector is one of the routes that has been witnessing huge demand in recent years. Resumption of NAC’s service with low fare is also expected to help reduce rates of other airlines providing service in the route. NAC had suspended its Kathmandu-Delhi service in March last year citing lack of planes.
NAC said that it is also in the final stage of obtaining the Air Operation Certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) after clearing customs charge for commercial operation of the new aircraft. The A320 aircraft has 158 seats, including eight seats for business class. NAC had received the aircraft on February 8 as part of a deal to buy two Airbus A320-200 from Airbus. The second aircraft is expected to be delivered to NAC by April.
After adding a new aircraft to its fleet, NAC is also planning to operate services in Kathmandu-Bangalore and Kathmandu-Mumbai sectors besides starting service to a new destination — Guangzhau, China. Flight frequency would be increased after NAC pilots complete training and appointment of new pilots, according to NAC.
Due to lack of aircraft, NAC is currently flying to only four international destinations — Bangkok, Hong Kong, Doha and Kuala Lumpur — with two old Boeing 757s.
Source: The Himalayan Times