The healthy growth of Indian tourists to Nepal has attracted more Indian airlines to Nepal.
With seven flights daily, IndiGo Airlines has started New-Delhi-Kathmandu flight from Friday making it the sixth Indian private airliner to fly to Kathmandu.Speaking on the inaugural flight, Aditya Ghosh, president IndiGo said that Kathmandu is a key market and holds a lot of promise. “IndiGo will continue to keep its promise of providing low fares on the New Delhi-Kathmandu-New Delhi routes as well," he said, adding that the airlines hopes to provide the much needed avenue for countless Indians to explore wider horizons and at the same time open up the doors to more and more overseas travellers to experience India.
Currently, Air India, Jet Airlines, Jet lite, Spice Jet, Kingfisher and Indigo fly on New-Delhi-Kathmandu route with a total of 78 flights a week.
"Private Indian airlines have explored Nepal as new destination,” said director general of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal Ram Prasad Neupane.
"The increase in the number of Indian airlines flying to Kathmandu has also encouraged the sector," he added.
According to him, India and China has large market access and they have strong economy. "Increase in the number of airlines from these countries can bring a large number of quality tourist to Nepal," he said, adding that the movement of Indian tourist has always been in an increasing trend.
"In an average, Indian tourists contribute to 30 per cent of the total international tourist arrival through airways,” said Neupane.
"According to Air Service Agreement (ASA) between Nepal and India, different Indian airlines can have 30,000 flights a week,” according to joint secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation Ranjan Krishna Aryal.
Therefore, more private Indian airlines can start their flights to Kathmandu with the recommendation of Indian government and technical specifications to Nepal, he added.
Including six Indian airlines and two Nepali airlines — Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and Buddha Air — some 28 different international airlines fly to Nepal like Air Arabia, Arke Fly, Baharain, Biman Bangladesh, China Eastern, China Southern, Dragon Air, Fly Dubai, Etihad Airways, Gulf Air, Korean Air, Oman Air, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Qatar Airways, Druk Air, Silk Air, Thai International Airways, United Airways and GMG Airlines.
Airlines — Destinations — No of flights in a week
Air India — Delhi — 14
Air India — Kolkata — 4
Air India — Mumbai — 4
Jet Airways — Delhi — 14
Jet Airways — Mumbai — 7
Jet lite — Delhi — 7
Kingfisher — Delhi — 7
Spice Jet — Delhi — 14
Indigo — Delhi — 7
Total flights — 78
(Source: Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal)