Himalaya Airlines, Nepal-China Joint Venture Airline, welcomed its first new Airbus 320-214 at a grand ceremony at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal today at 14:25 NST.
The new aircraft, with the registration number 9N-ALM, received a water cannon salute upon its arrival, adopting the tradition in the aviation industry.To mark the show, Ferry Team was welcomed by a Nepal’s Army Band playing auspicious “Mangal Dhoon.
The aircraft was delivered to Kathmandu from Chengdu, following theaircraft handover ceremony represented by Mr. Cheng Hui, President of the company.The ceremony was attended by President, Mr. Hui, Vice President- Administration, Mr. Vijay Shrestha, Vice President – Operations, Captain Jatinder Pal Singh Dhillon, and H9 welcome team.
The airline’s new A320 aircraft has 158 seats in two class configurations, 8 for Business and 150 for Economy, ensuring high level of flying comfort.
The airline plans its international flight services from April 2016, flying directly to Delhi and Doha on a daily basis (subject to regulatory approvals) providing convenient travel connections.
Commenting on the event, Mr. Vijay Shrestha, Vice President, Administration said, “We are pleased to welcome our first aircraft of the company A320-214, which will help strengthen the air connectivity of Nepal to international network. This marks the opening of a new chapter of commercial aviation in Nepal and I am confident that Himalaya Airlines will also contribute to attaining the country’s objective to promote tourism sector.”
Himalaya Airlines, a full-service carrier, established in August 2014, started its international flights operation from April 12th 2016, flying directly to Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Airline will now start is first scheduled flights from May 31st 2016 flying directly to Doha, Qatar. The airline has planned services to more destinations including Delhi, India followed by Lhasa, Chengdu and Beijing in China a few months later.
The airline had welcomed its first new aircraft MSN 6626, Airbus 320-214, Nepal registration number 9N-ALM, on March 9, 2016 at 14:25 NST. This aircraft carried the Right Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. K.P. Oli, Madam Radhika Shakya and the delegation on an official visit to Beijing, the capital city of the People’s Republic of China at 11:00 NST on March 20, 2016. The aircraft also flew to Colombo, Sri Lanka offering a promotional package of round trip on April 12th 2016 and May 3rd 2016.
The airline has full preparation in terms of training flight crew, maintenance personnel and all functions of airline operation and has in place systems, people and infrastructure to start commercial flights.
Over the coming five years, the airline aims at acquiring 15 Airbus aircrafts and will operate from Kathmandu to various cities in Asia and beyond. The company will introduce long haul wide body aircraft of A330 family in due course of time for the operation of direct flights to Japan, Korea, Europe, Australia, and America.
Tibet Airlines holds 48.99%of equity capital of the company, whereas the Nepalese side holds 51.01%.