Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has now included Tibet Airlines for the schedule passenger flight from Chengdu-Kathmandu route.
Himalaya Airlines had previously welcomed Tibet Airlines Airbus A319 at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) after the Chengdu-Kathmandu bound test flight successfully landed at around 5:12 pm local time on July 20 this year.
An official from the Himalaya airlines said Aviation Nepal on June 20 this year, “We will initiate direct flights to Chengdu, China from Kathmandu in coordination with Tibet Airlines. It is a wet lease agreement with the Tibet Airlines.” The airline is also planning to connect Beijing with Kathmandu, the official added.
Tibet Airlines will fly four days a week on Kathmandu-Chengdu-Kathmandu route from July 20 this year. Currently, four Chinese carriers operate schedule flights to Nepal Air China, China Southern, China Eastern and Sichuan Airlines.
Once the Tibet Airlines starts China-Nepal flights, it will be the fifth Chinese airlines entering into the Nepali market.
China Southern runs two daily flights on the Kathmandu-Guangzhou route, meanwhile China Eastern and Air China operate daily flights connecting Kathmandu with Kunming and Lhasa respectively. Sichuan operates four weekly flights on the Chengdu-Lhasa-Kathmandu sector.
Nepal and China signed a revised bilateral air services agreement (ASA) in February 2014, approving the operation of 70 flights a week with any type of aircraft on a reciprocal basis from 2016. Before the ASA revision, Chinese airlines were allowed to operate 14 flights per week.
According to Nepali government officials, increased flight connectivity with China is expected to bring more Chinese tourists to Nepal.