China Southern Airlines to operate Nepal-China daily flights from Sept. 1
KATHMANDU, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- China Southern Airlines on Friday formally announced to operate daily flights from Nepal to the northern neighbor China from Sept. 1.
Organizing a special program in the Nepalese capital, the company announced that it will have a daily flight between Guangzhou and Kathmandu from Sept. 1 whereas will have two flights per day from October.
The Chinese company announced that it is increasing the flight frequency considering the growing Chinese tourists in Nepal and upcoming festivals in the Himalayan nation.
Dhiraj Shrestha, deputy sales manager at China Southern Airlines office in Nepal told Xinhua "Currently, we are operating three flights between Guangzhou and Kathmandu a week through A319 aircraft. Now, we are extending the number of flights because of increment in passenger frequency and major festivals."
September-October is the peak tourism season in Nepal which is generally claimed as having 30 percent of total tourists' arrival of a year whereas at next, it is the time for major festivals like Dashain and Tihar when thousands of migrant workers and other Nepalese living abroad return home.
Earlier, almost all the foreign carriers including China Southern Airlines were forced to suspend their flight frequency after last year's devastating earthquake and subsequent aviation fuel shortage in Nepal.
Since the Chinese carrier is planning to double the flight frequency, an increased flight is expected to contribute to raise the number of Chinese tourists which has remarkably decreased by 26 percent in the first six month of 2016, according to tourism statistics.
China is the second largest source market of tourism for the Himalayan nation and the decision of increasing flight is received with due significance by the travel agents.
"The Chinese carriers have boosted the Nepalese tourism market. I am hopeful that the daily flights will help in reviving our quake-hit business", Prem Sapkota, a Travel Agent shared with Xinhua after receiving "Appreciation Award" form the company.
On the occasion, the company awarded best travel agents based in Kathmandu with the letter of appreciation. According to the company that has served over 110 million passengers worldwide till 2015, it has 90 travel agents within Nepal.
Currently, there are four Chinese airlines operating direct flights from Nepal to mainland China. Tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped 12.77 percent in the first six months of 2016, showing signs that the tourism industry is gradually returning back to normal after facing severe disasters last year.