October 23: With the Visit Nepal Year 2020 just around the corner, three new international airlines will be operating flights to Nepal soon. Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways and India’s Spice Jet as well as Vistara Air have shown interest to operate flights to Nepal.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has already granted permission to Jazeera Airways and Spice Jet to operate flights to Nepal. CAAN informed New Business Age that the process to approvr Vistara Air’s request to operate flights to Nepal is in the final stage.
According to CAAN, Spice Jet and Jazeera Airways will start commercial flights to Nepal from the third week of November.
Spice Jet had requested CAAN for operating flights along Kathmandu-New Delhi- Mumbai route while Vistara Air has asked for permission to operate flights along Kathmandu-New Delhi route.
Spice Jet had already acquired permission to operate Kathmandu-New Delhi flights before and now has been granted permission to extend the flights till Mumbai.
CAAN said that Spice Jet has been allowed to operate flights throughout the week.
Kathmandu is not a new destination for Spice Jet. It had started operating flights to Kathmandu in 2008 but discontinued the service after seven years.
Likewise, Vistara Air, which is owned by India’s Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, had submitted a proposal to operate flights to Kathmandu from November itself. But the CAAN is currently studying its proposal.
After the cash-strapped Jet Airways stopped operating in April, Nepal’s flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation, Air India and Indigo Airlines have been actively operating flights between Kathmandu and New Delhi. Bhutan’s Druk Air also runs one flight a week along this route.
NAC has been operating 14 flights a week along this route while Indigo Airlines operates 21 flights and Air India 14.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways sought permission for operating flights between Kuwait and Nepal after Wataniya Airways of the Gulf country went out of business.
Jazeera Airways had sought permission from CAAN about a month ago and has given the approval just four days ago on October 19. Although it has been granted permission to operate flights throughout the week, the airline will operate flights for four days a week in the initial phase.
Out of the total air passengers visiting Nepal, 25 percent come from New Delhi.