Thai Lion Air gets permission to fly to Kathmandu

Thai Lion Air — a low cost airline — has received permission to operate scheduled flight on Bangkok-Kathmandu-Bangkok sector. The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) took the decision to this effect last Monday. The carrier will fly to Kathmandu from Don Mueang International Airport — one of the two international airports in […]

etravaelpressThai Lion Air — a low cost airline — has received permission to operate scheduled flight on Bangkok-Kathmandu-Bangkok sector.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) took the decision to this effect last Monday.

The carrier will fly to Kathmandu from Don Mueang International Airport — one of the two international airports in Bangkok. According to tourism ministry officials, the budget carrier has received permission to fly to Kathmandu seven times a week.

Thai Lion Air is an associate of Indonesia-based Lion Air. It operates a fleet of 32 aircraft — three Airbus A330-300, 11 Boeing 737-800, 17 Boeing 737-900 ER and one Boeing 737 Max 9. It has placed order for six Boeing 737-800 and eight Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft.

Thai Lion Air will be the third airlines to link Bangkok with Kathmandu after Nepal Airlines Corporation and Thai Airways.

Lion Thai Air plans to start flying to Nepal from next month. However, it is yet to get slot from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

Meanwhile, Oman-based Salam Air has also applied for permission to operate flights between Muscat and Kathmandu. Tourism ministry officials say no decision has been taken on Salam Air’s application yet.

 

Tourism ministry forms ‘think tank’ to improve aviation sector

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has formed a ‘think tank’ and asked it to suggest measures for bringing about improvement in country’s civil aviation sector.

etravelpressThe Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has formed a ‘think tank’ and asked it to suggest measures for bringing about improvement in country’s civil aviation sector.

Issuing a press statement on Tuesday, the ministry said that the think tank will identify existing challenges in Nepal’s aviation sector and suggest measures deal with them.

The think tank is chaired by Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Addhikari.

Tourism ministry officials said that the think tank was formed with an objective to utilize the expertise of different people having experience and expertise in the civil aviation sector for improving the entire aviation sector.

Lalit Bikram Shah, former regional director of ICAO; former secretaries Birendra Bahadur Deuja, Nagendra Prasad Ghimire and Yagya Prasad Gautam; aviation experts Hari Bhakta Shrestha, Trichandra Manandhar, Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, Kamal Prasad Rimal; Captain PJ Shah; civil engineer Kamal Kumar KC; and experts Mahendra Singh Rawal, Uday Shrestha, Yubaraj Kumar Bhattarai, Narayan Bahadur Singh Dangol, Libindra Man Shakya, Suman Kumar Shrestha, Mahendra Raj Bhandari, Prabhakar Adhikari, Prabha Baidya and Hemanta Aryal are in the think tank.

The think tank is also expected to facilitate the government in implementation of programs included in the 100-day action plan of the tourism ministry.

Among others, the action plan envisages operating Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) for at least 21 hours a day, address air traffic congestion at TIA, procuring high-tech rescue equipment, enhance capacity of air traffic control unit at TIA and make TIA’s slot management works more scientific.

 

Govt setting up independent agency to probe air accidents

The government is setting up an independent aircraft accident investigation agency as part of its preparation to meet international obligations for improving aviation safety and preventing accidents in the future.

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Crash site of Sita Air’s Dornier aircraft in Bhaktapur district.
Pic: BBC Files

The government is setting up an independent aircraft accident investigation agency as part of its preparation to meet international obligations for improving aviation safety and preventing accidents in the future.

According to officials of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, the agency will probe aircraft accidents and recommend measures to prevent such accidents in the future. It will also help improve the quality of aviation service in the country by identifying factors causing air accidents in Nepal.

The tourism ministry had recently formed a committee to study the matter and provide its report to the government. It has also said that the government can collect service charge from airlines, airports and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), among others, to arrange financial resources for the to-be-formed body. The agency will have a pool of experts who will act as investigators.

Currently, aircraft accidents are investigated by an ad hoc investigation committee that the tourism ministry forms as soon as the accidents occur. Such committees are formed as per the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Accident) Regulations 2014

Air safety manual of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requires each member state to establish an independent organization to conduct investigations into aircraft accidents and incidents that come within the jurisdiction of the state.

Earlier in July, ICAO removed Nepal from the list of Significant Safety Concerns (SSC) after it achieved 66 percent compliance rate – above the global standard of 60 percent.

Nepal finally out of ICAO’s SSC list

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has formally informed the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) that the significant safety concern (SSC) issued to Nepal by the ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission in July, 2013, has been resolved.

CAANCAAN says it will request EU to review its backlist

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has formally informed the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) that the significant safety concern (SSC) issued to Nepal by the ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission in July, 2013, has been resolved.

Organizing a press meet in Kathmandu on Friday, CAAN Director General Sanjiv Gautam said that SSC Validation Committee Meeting held at the ICAO Headquarters in Montreal on July 20 took the decision.

A team of ICAO’s experts had visited Nepal in the first week of July to study improvements made by Nepal in aviation safety.

Though ICAO’s safety concern has been addressed, Nepali airlines are still subjected to an operating ban within the airspace of the European Union. The European Commission placed restrictions on Nepali airline companies on December 25, 2013, after the ICAO designated SSC about the country’s aviation sector, stating that Nepal has not complied with ICAO protocols in eight critical elements including flight operations and aviation safety.

While ICAO has said that its safety concerns have been addressed by Nepal, it is still unknown whether the EU will remove Nepal from its backlist.

Gautam said in the press meet that the aviation sector regulator would now formally request the European Commission to review its backlist.

Turkish Airlines launches ‘Together for Better’ scheme

Turkish Airlines has launched a new consumer scheme together with coffee chain Himalayan Java.

Turkish

Turkish Airlines has launched a new consumer scheme together with coffee chain Himalayan Java.

Under the scheme, which was announced on Tuesday amid a function organized at Himalayan Java outlet in Labim Mall, Lalitpur, one lucky customers can win a free ticket to Turkish Airlines’ destination of his choice.

The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch ‘Together for Better’ campaign.

According to Abdullah Tuncer Kececi, the general manager of Turkish Airlines in Nepal, interested participants can drop their business card or provide details in a card available at the Himalayan Java outlets or take a selfie with Turkish Airlines coffee mug and upload the picture on Facebook with the hashtags #TurkishAirlines #WidenYourWorld #HimalayanJava #favourite destination. The winner of the campaign will be selected through a lucky draw, he added. He also expressed contentment to have partnership with Himalayan Java.

Similarly, customers, who visit the Himalayan Java outlets, can get a 10 percent discount on Turkish Airlines tickets upon submission of Himalayan Java Invoice dated between July 4 and July 11, according to the airline.

Turkish Airlines is the only airline operating in Nepal, offering direct connectivity between Nepal and Europe.