Turkish Airlines started scheduled flights to Nepal on Monday.
The Airbus A330 aircraft of the Istanbul-based carrier touched the tarmac of Tribhuvan International Airlines at 7:15 am with 280 passengers onboard. It left for Istanbul at 8:45 am.
Turkish Airlines will initially operate four flights a week on Istanbul-Kathmandu route. It will fly to Kathmandu from its hub in Istanbul on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
“Kathmandu has a long history dating to 100 BC and is home to many unique cultural and historical sites, including a large number of Buddhist and Hindu temples which are protected by UNESCO designations,” the airline said in a statement, adding, “In addition, it is the starting point for numerous climbing and trekking expeditions across the Himalayan range.”
The airline has established direct link of Kathmandu with Europe. There had been no scheduled flights between Kathmandu and European cities since Lufthansa pulled out from Nepal in 1997.
According to Zenith Travels – the GSA of Turkish Airlines in Nepal, the airline has received overwhelming response in Nepal. It has received cent percent bookings for Kathmandu flights until January. Similarly, flights to Istanbul have already been booked until November.
Turkish Airlines plan to increase flights frequency to seven flights a week depending on traffic.
The Air Service Agreement (ASA) between Nepal and Turkey, which was signed in September 2010, allows the designated carriers of two countries to operate 14 flights per week each on Kathmandu-Istanbul sector.