Flag carrier of Nepal, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC)’s hope to operate direct flight to Osaka, Japan has been disappointment as it gets postponed for about a month. The airline had planned to operate direct flights to Osaka, Japan from February end however is forced to postpone the flight till March end.
The airline had to push the inauguration of the flight after Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) stated to conduct safety check of NAC before allowing to resume the flight to Kansai International Airport.
JCAB will conduct safety checks as it is regular process and is conducted as per International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard however Japan does not follow European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) safety procedure meaning even though if Japan approve the flight safety Nepal airlines will still not be uplifted from EU ban.
NAC had already received Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to fly to Japan on Kathmandu-Osaka sector with the Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft nearly couple of weeks back.
JCAB will coordinate with Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) for the process however time duration is unknown. NAC executive chairman stated that they are ready to operate flight any time after they receive permission from JCAB.
Allotting 400 weekly seats, Nepal and Japan had signed the BASA on February 17, 1993. Before the suspension of the national flag carrier on the route due to lack of aircraft, it used to fly to Osaka via Shanghai till 2008. Last year on June, Nepal and Japan revised the agreement allowing 14 weekly flights between the countries.
NAC has already allotted office representative and sent Request for Proposal for crew layover at Osaka along with required document to concerned authority but has not been able to work on promotion and ticketing without receiving the permission.
The airline is also planning to operate to China around a month after commencing flight to Japan. China has also been positive about the flight and stated to allow flight from morning 1 to 6 which is expected to be altered during various season.
According to the NAC, it has already appointed Beijing Longway International Travel Service for General Sales Agent (GSA) for conducting flight to Guangzhou.
Currently, Chinese airlines like China Eastern, China Southern, Cathay Dragon, Air China, Tibet Airline and Sichuan Airlines operate to Nepal from China.
Nepal Airlines does not operate to China presently, but has got approval to fly to Beijing, Shanghai, Lhasa, Guangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu and Xi’an whereas previously, NAC used to fly to Shanghai and was discontinued due to a lack of aircraft in 2008.
The corporation operates international flights with its 2 wide body A330 aircraft, 2 narrow body A 320 and 1 Boeing aircraft.