After a 10-year-long break, Nepal Airlines is finally all set to fly its aircraft in Japanese air space!
A recent update informed about Nepal Airlines Corporation’s (NAC) plans to begin its flight operations to Japan from September 2018.
Under the plan, Nepal will be operating three weekly flights to Tokyo.
The Nepal Tourism Ministry has already assigned seven weekly flights to fly from Nepal to Tokyo Narita International Airport or Tokyo Narita Airport.
However, NAC is keen on resuming its services only after having its awaited two long-range Airbus A330 jets on board, one of which has arrived on June 28, 2018.
We are making necessary arrangements like appointing general sales agents to begin flights by September, says Rabindra Shrestha, NAC Spokesperson.
Revised Agreements Give New Boost
The latest update is coming as a follow-up to the revised Air Service Agreement (ASA) signed between Nepal and Japan on June 18, 2018.
Under the revised agreement, the two sides decided to increase the number of flights from Nepal to Japan by seven-fold, from twice a week to 14 weekly flights allowing aircraft of any type on a reciprocal basis.
“After the government gives the go-ahead, the national flag carrier will formally apply for operating authorization at Narita International Airport with the Japanese Government,” says Pramod Nepal, Under Secretary at the Ministry.
Prior to this, NAC prepared to resume its flights to the Kansai International Airport in Osaka owing to the old ASA that doesn’t allow operations in other Japanese airports.
Now, the revised ASA comes as a relief allowing NAC to fly its airplanes to Narita International and other Japanese airports as well.
It is noteworthy here that Narita and Kansai International Airports alone account for 68 percent of the air traffic from Japan to Nepal.
77% Rise in Air Traffic
A 2015 Air Traffic Analysis report by Airbus shows a 77 percent rise in air traffic from Japan to Nepal in the last five years period (from nearly 48,000 one-way travellers).
Meanwhile, Nepal received 27,326 Japanese tourists in 2017 and has also seen a rise in the number of its people living in Japan exceeding 60,000 compared to 31,531 as of 2013.
According to the Tourism Ministry, the number of Nepalis in Japan is going to increase further in the future in the light of the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.