Saurya Airlines, a new domestic airline, started commercial operation from Monday.
The company started with a mountain flight early in the morning and later flew to Biratnagar. Officials of the airlines said the airlines will operate mountain flight and two flights to Biratnagar until November 24. After that, it will start scheduled flights to Bhairahawa as well.
The company is operating a 54-seater Bombardier CRJ 200 series aircraft configured to accommodate 50 passengers. It plans to acquire a 70-seater Bombardier CRJ 700 series aircraft within a month.
The company had received Airlines Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) on Thursday.
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) on Sunday held discussions with private sector on its annual programs and activities.
At the program, NTB officials said they were hoping to mobilize revenue of Rs 951 million in fiscal year 2014/15. NTB’s revenue comes from Tourism Service Fee (TSF) and Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS). TSF is levied on foreign tourists before they depart from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). Similarly, TIMS fee is collected from trekkers heading to different trekking areas in Everest, Langtang and Annapurna regions.
The projected revenue is up by 57 percent compared to revenue figures of 2013/14.
Representatives of different travel trade associations had participated in the discussion program.
NTB has proposed a significant fund to organize Himalayan International Travel Mart in Kathmandu and to promote Nepal through advertisements in different international media and to organize fam trips for foreign journalists.
Tourism entrepreneurs, especially those affiliated with Joint Tourism Coordination Committee (JTCC), had waged protest against NTB earlier this year, pressing it to organize Himalayan International Travel Mart instead of National Tourism Fair.
NTB has proposed a budget of Rs 278.6 to promote Nepali tourism products and services in the international market. Its regular programs include promotion of domestic tourism and organizing national fairs in different regions. Similarly, it participates in travel marts, sales missions and road shows in different countries across the globe.
NTB has proposed a budget of Rs 279 million to open its offices in India and China – two major tourist generating markets for Nepal.
This is probably the first time NTB has sought suggestions from the private sector in its annual programs and activities. Relationship between NTB and private sector got bitter when the latter organized protest against then acting CEO of NTB Subash Nirola.
Nirola has been suspended by government as per the direction of the Public Accounts Committee of legislature-parliament.
Nepal Airlines Corporation’s brand new Harbin Y12e aircraft landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu on Monday.
NAC has named the aircraft ‘Koilee’ which is a Nepali name for cuckoo. It has received 9N-AKS call sign from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). A team of officials from AVIC Holdings, including an instructor pilot, have come to Nepal on board the aircraft.
China has provided the 17-seater turbo prop aircraft to NAC as a grant under the grant/purchase deal for six aircraft – two MA 60 and four Harbin Y12e aircraft. Under the agreement, China will provide Nepal two aircraft – an MA 60 and a Harbin Y12e – on grant upon purchase of four aircraft – three Harbin Y12e and one MA 60. It has also provided concessional loan to Nepal to procure the remaining four aircraft.
The MA 60 aircraft, which was provided by China as a grant, has already started commercial service.
NAC plans to use the aircraft on western hilly routes once it obtains Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
Khumbi-Ila Samrakshan Pratisthan organized a Ghalegaun familiarization trip for home stay operators of Salyan VDC in Kaski from October 31 to November 2.
A 16-member team from Salyan VDC visited Ghalegaun, a model tourism village in the SAARC Region, and interacted with home stay operators on various issues ranging from welcoming guests, arranging food and drinks, souvenir making, and hospitality and hygiene, among others.
Zimba Zangbu Sherpa, president of Khumbi-Ila Samrakshan Pratisthan, said the fam trip was organized as per the request of the locals of Salyan VDC. “They have already started accommodating guests in their homes. They approached us to help them refine their services by building their capacity, and we readily obliged,” he said, adding, “We are hopeful that they have learnt a lot from Ghalegaun and will implement good practices in their village.”
Sherpa, who is also the managing director of Atalante Trekking & Mountaineering, said he would support home stay operators in Salyan VDC by asking his clients to rest in the village for at least a night.
“We selected Ghalegaun for the familiarization trip because Salyan and Ghalegaun have some similarities. Both the villages are way from the main trekking trail and both are rich in natural and cultural attractions. Locals have equal zeal to promote tourism in their villages,” he said, adding, “Also Ghalegaun is a model tourism village in the SAARC region.”
The team from Salyan VDC visited tea garden, Uttar Kanya temple, view tower and sheep farm in the village. They also interacted with members of the Ghalegaun Tourism Management Committee on several issues related to management of home stay tourism.
Bal Bahadur KC, president of Salyan Tourism Development Committee, said they would implement good practices of Ghalegaun in their village. “Ghalegaun is a popular home stay destination in the country and a model tourism village in the SAARC region. We are hopeful that the trip would help enhance our skills and capacity,” KC said. He also thanked Khumbi-Ila Samrakshan Pratisthan for their valuable support.
Devi Prasad Panta, secretary of Khumbi-Ila Samrakshan Pratisthan, said they would support locals of Salyan VDC by publishing brochures and other promotional materials. “Now they should meet tourism entrepreneurs of Pokhara and request them to include Salyan VDC in their itinerary,” he added.
DR HARKA GURUNG REMEMBERED
Zimba Zangbu Sherpa, who is also the immediate past president of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), paid floral tributes at the statue of late Dr Harka Gurung on November 1 on the occasion of 41stNMA Day.
Gurung’s statue has been built on the premises of Gurung Museum in Besishahar. Late Gurung had played a crucial role in the formation of NMA. It was because of his initiation that the government had authorized NMA to collect permits of 18 peaks.