Himalaya Airlines, based in Kathmandu, Nepal, has made aviation history by becoming the first non-Chinese airline to secure permission for direct flights to Lhasa, the regional capital of Tibet. The announcement was made this week, with Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Sudan Kirati presiding over the inauguration ceremony for the Kathmandu-Lhasa route.
This landmark direct flight, operated by Himalaya Airlines, a joint venture between Nepal and China, is set to take off from Kathmandu on Thursday and will operate on a weekly basis. Minister Kirati, addressing the inauguration event, highlighted the significance of this air link as the "second bridge" in fostering the Nepal-China relationship.
Referring to the Araniko Highway completed in 1965 as the first bridge that facilitated connectivity between Nepal and China, Minister Kirati emphasized the new direct air route as the second major bridge. He expressed optimism about the positive impact of this flight, stating that it will play a crucial role in attracting Chinese tourists to Nepal.
Minister Kirati noted that Lhasa in Tibet receives around 10 million tourists annually, a substantial portion of whom are Chinese Buddhists. The establishment of the Kathmandu-Lhasa direct air route is expected to enhance cultural and economic ties between the two nations, marking a significant milestone in their relationship.