Himalaya Airlines, a joint venture between Nepal and China, is pleased to announce the inaugural flight of its historic Kathmandu-Lhasa-Kathmandu flight service, which commenced on December 28, 2023. This historic event will mark a significant milestone in Himalaya Airlines’ commitment to enhancing connectivity and promoting bilateral ties between Nepal and China.
Lhasa, the capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region in China, is a cultural and spiritual hub nestled high in the Himalayas. Known for its breathtaking landscapes and ancient monasteries, Lhasa holds deep significance as the center of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan culture. The city’s rich history and unique blend of traditions make it a captivating destination for travelers seeking a glimpse into Tibet’s spiritual heritage and natural beauty.
The new Kathmandu-Lhasa-Kathmandu route will offer passengers seamless travel options between the vibrant capital city of Nepal with the historically rich and picturesque city of Lhasa.
The first outbound flight, H9 774, departed from Tribhuvan International Airport at 08:40 hours (local time) and will arrive Lhasa Gonggar Airport, at 12:00 hours (local time), with a flight duration of one hour and twenty minutes. A total of 136 passengers boarded the first flight. Initially operating weekly flight on Thursday on December 28, 2023, the service will schedule flight every Monday effective from January 01, 2024. This signifies the fifth direct connection Himalaya Airlines establishes between China and Nepal, with flight operations to Beijing, Chongqing, Qingdao, and Shanghai.
The inaugural flight event was graced by the Minister of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation, Hon. Mr. Sudan Kirati as the chief guest along with Mr. Wang Xin, Deputy Chief of Mission- Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Nepal along with other dignitaries who were welcomed by Mr. Zhou Enyong, President, and Himalaya Airlines Officials.
Commemorating the occasion, in his address, Minister Kirati remarked, “I am honored to be a part of this historic moment as we celebrate the commencement of the Kathmandu-Lhasa-Kathmandu flight service by Himalaya Airlines. The newly established route represents a significant advancement in the transportation network linking Nepal and China. In essence, it expands the existing connectivity options beyond the previously predominant Arniko Highway. This enhancement in transportation infrastructure not only promotes increased accessibility but also signifies a broader and more diverse network for trade, tourism, and overall bilateral relations between Nepal and China”.
Mr. Wang Xin, Deputy Chief of Mission- Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Nepal, who shared, ‘This inaugural flight marks a momentous occasion in further strengthening the bilateral relations between Nepal and China, fostering closer cultural and connectivity ties.’ The Tibet Autonomous Region shares a longstanding, friendly connection with Nepal, woven through mountains, rivers, and generations. Serving as a crucial link in China-Nepal relations, it fosters close religious exchanges between the Tibetan and Nepalese communities.
Mr. Vijay Shrestha, Vice-President of Himalaya Airlines, who is also the spokesperson of Himalaya Airlines, expressed his enthusiasm for the newly launched route, stating, “The main mission of Himalaya is to be able to operate flights to 10 different tourism sectors of China and welcome one million tourists to Nepal. H9 has always explored trailblazing and new routes to China leading the way and going ahead of the regular operations. Our contribution to exploring new markets is therefore remarkable. With the introduction of this new route, Himalaya aims to create memorable travel experiences while maintaining the highest safety standards. We look forward to welcoming travelers on board our flights and helping them explore the beauty and opportunities that both Nepal and Tibet have to offer.”