Himalaya Airlines, a Nepal – China joint venture airline, took off to their first high altitude destination, Lhasa for a test flight on January 19, 2021. Lhasa is the religious and administrative capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, famous for its history and religious landmarks, attracting tourists from all over the world. The test flight operation is in line with company’s commercial plan to introduce scheduled flights to Lhasa during summer of 2021.
The test flight H9 961 departed from Tribhuvan International Airport at 07:17 hours (local time) and touched down at Lhasa Gonggar International Airport (LXA) at 10:46 hours (local time). The return flight H9 962, from Lhasa is scheduled to depart at 15:00 hours (local time) on the same day and expected to land in Kathmandu at 14:00 hours (local time).
Captain Hao Di, Vice President-Operations, led the test flight crew including senior level captains who would carry out three different approaches at Lhasa airport for the validation flight.
The airlines inducted a brand new narrow body A319-115 aircraft registered as H9-AJK on Mar 02, 2020 especially for high altitude operations. Configured with 120 economy and 08 business class seats the aircraft has modifications for high altitude operations & capabilities to operate trans Himalayan routes with aerodromes elevation to maximum 14,500 ft.