Himalaya Airlines is adding two new destinations – Kuala Lumpur and Yangon – in its flight network from February.
Issuing a statement on Tuesday, the Nepal-China joint venture carrier said it was starting scheduled flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from February 10 and Yangon, Myanmar, from February 24. While the airline will be flying five times week to Kuala Lumpur, the Yangon flight will be twice a week, according to the statement.
The airline is currently operating scheduled flights to Doha of Qatar and Colombo of Sri Lanka. It plans to start flights to the new destinations once it gets delivery of second Airbus A320-214 aircraft. The airline is procuring the aircraft on dry lease, according to the statement.
Himalaya Airlines has appointed Carnival Travel and My Golden Lion Aviation has its general sales agent (GSA) in Kuala Lumpur and Yangon, respectively.
Meanwhile, the airline has fixed introductory roundtrip airfare of Rs 25, 375 for Kuala Lumpur and Rs 29,600 for Yangon. The airfare is exclusive of applicable taxes, according to the airline.
“We are eager to launch our second new Airbus 320-214. This new airbus will strengthen Nepal’s international aviation network,” Vice President of Himalaya Airlines Vijaya Shrestha said in the statement. “These new destinations will not only address the growing demands of passengers but help boost friendly ties between Nepal and the other two countries.”
Tourist arrivals to Nepal in 2016 jumped by 39.71 percent to 753,002 compared to arrival figures of 2015.
However, total arrivals in 2016 are still down by 4.69 percent compared to 2014 when the country had welcomed 790,118 foreign visitors.
Data compiled by the Department of Immigration shows tourist arrivals posted healthy growth in October, November and December. These months are regarded the peak season for Nepali tourism industry.
Tourism stakeholders expect that the momentum will continue in 2017 as well as China has announced Nepal Tourism Promotion Year 2017 in a bid to encourage its citizens to visit Nepal. Similarly, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has intensified promotional programs in leading markets which is expected deliver positive results this year.
The data shows India continues to become the largest market for Nepali tourism industry. Arrivals from India grew 57.4 percent to 118,249 in 2016. Similarly, arrivals from China jumped by 55.26 percent to 104,005.
Likewise, tourist arrivals from the US, Sri Lanka and the UK jumped 25.67 percent, 29.64 percent and 55.71 percent, respectively, in the review year, data shows.