The first post-pandemic Kathmandu-Lhasa direct flight begins today  

KATHMANDU : Nepal’s capital Kathmandu and China’s Tibet Autonomous Region’s capital Lhasa are resuming direct flights. The first post-pandemic flight between the two ancient capitals resumed today. The aircraft of The Himalayan Airlines with call sign number H9-774 made its takeoff at 8:20 am Nepal’s local time. The Sino-Nepal joint airlines company’s flight opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal Sudan Kirati, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Chinese Embassy Wang Xin and General Manager of Tribhuvan International Airport of Nepal Pratapbabu Tiwari,  President of Himalayan Airlines Zhou Enyong, among others. According to Himalayan Airlines, 136 passengers boarded the flight today.

From 1 January 2024, the weekly flight from Kathmandu would depart on every Monday at 8:15 am local time. Himalayan Airlines has direct flights to other Chinese major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Qingdao.

‘The first opening-up of Nepal and China began in 1965 after the completion of Araniko highway connecting Nepal and China’, said minister Kirati, ‘This is the second opening-up of Nepal and China.’ Minister Kirati said if Nepal gets 25 percent of Tibet’s annual tourists, it would be a big contribution to Nepal’s national economy.

Nepal’s residential diplomat at Lhasa Navaraj Dhakal also echoed Minister Kirati. The head of Lhasa’s only foreign diplomatic mission, Dhakal said, ‘The direct flight is a result of constant works of Nepal Government, Nepal’s foreign ministry as well as other stakeholders. He said, ‘More passenger flow would be ensured after January 8 and more flights would be operated after March 2024.’

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