Himalaya Airlines — a Nepal-China joint venture — is set to begin commercial operation from April.
The airline brought its first aircraft Airbus 320-214 to Kathmandu on Wednesday. The new aircraft, with 9N-ALM call-sign, was given water cannon salute upon its arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu. The aircraft flew to Kathmandu from Chengdu, according to a statement issued by the airline.
The aircraft has 158 seats including eight in business class.
Himalaya Airlines plans to begin commercial operation, by launching daily flights to Doha (Qatar) and New Delhi (India).
“We are pleased to welcome the first aircraft of our company which will help strengthen the air connectivity of Nepal to international network. This marks the opening of a new chapter of commercial aviation in Nepal and I am confident that Himalaya Airlines will also contribute to attaining the country’s objective to promote tourism sector,” the statement quoted Bijaya Shrestha, vice president-administration of Himalaya Airlines, as saying.
The airline has made full preparation in terms of training flight crew and maintenance personnel and has in place systems, people and infrastructure to start commercial flights, according to the statement.
The airline aims to acquire 15 Airbus 320 aircraft and fly to various destinations in Asia and beyond in the next five years.
Himalayan Infrastructure Fund (HIF) Aviation Investment and Yeti World Investment together share a 51 percent stake in the airline, while Tibet Airlines owns the remaining 49 percent.