Nepal Airlines cleared to fly Seoul Incheon Airport for the first time
January 05, 2017 – Kathmandu
National Flag Carrier Nepal Airlines, for the first time in its history has obtained clearance to fly its jetliners direct to the South Korea. The airliner has obtained permission to fly straight to main hub Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN) in Seoul of South Korea twice a week Sunday and Wednesday. No any Nepali airliners have received this route permit for scheduled flight to Seoul until now except Nepal Airlines.
The Corporate Director of Nepal Airlines Mr. Ram Hari Sharma made a commitment that the flying for this route will start as early as October November this year in the provided slot.
The airlines plans to conduct this scheduled flight by its upcoming wide body Airbus 330-200 series aircraft with a seat capacity of 250 to 280 pax. AAR Corporation, an American aviation provision company, has offered to deliver the aircraft in the cheapest rate to the national flag carrier.
The flight for Seoul will take off from Kathmandu at 7:20 PM and will take off from Seoul at 7:15 AM local time. The one segment of flight will take approximately around 6 hours and 30 minutes.
The flag carrier also plans to fly to Tokyo, Japan from Seoul International Airport to make connecting flight to the western part of USA convenient to the travelers flying from Seoul to USA making Japan their hub. And similarly this will facilitate also the travelers flying from USA back to Nepal.
Nepal Airlines had applied for the route permit two months before after analyzing all the positive aspects of the market of this route and finding a figure of passenger flow around 40,000 a year in this segment, said Mr. Sharma.
The statistics of Nepal Tourism Board shows that in a period of 11 months from January 2016 to November 2016 a total of 22,376 Korean passengers traveled to Nepal and 20,198 Japanese traveled Nepal by Air.
Right now the route plan has been prescribed as Kathmandu-Seoul-Tokyo-Seoul-Kathmandu while only the permission for Seoul has been obtained. If the route clearance for Haneda International Airport will not be obtained until the airline receives its first wide body the segment Kathmandu-Seoul-Kathmandu will be operated. The airline is yet to receive permit for the Haneda International Airport.
Mr. Sharma also told that the fare rates have been fixed and it will be competitive to other airlines like Korean Air flying this segment and he made commitment that no compromise would be made for the facility and comfort.
NAC is at work to bring in the first wide-body jet by September 2017. The second jet is likely to join the fleet after six months. The NAC plans to conduct maiden flight of the wide-body aircraft to either Tokyo or Seoul.
NAC plans to purchase Airbus 330-200 jets which can fly without stopping for up to 10 hours. The national flag carrier plans to operate the aircraft on long-haul courses.
The national flag carrier has the familiarity of flying to long-haul routes. Decades ago, it used to maneuver scheduled flights to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Osaka and Shanghai.