Kathmandu: Himalaya Airlines has commenced direct flights from Kathmandu to Shanghai, China, marking a milestone in air connectivity between Nepal and one of China’s major cities.
The airline’s inaugural flight, carrying 137 passengers, departed from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) at 9:20 AM and is scheduled to land in Shanghai at 9 PM today.
The Kathmandu-Shanghai route, spanning five hours and 20 minutes, will operate regularly every Saturday morning.
This marks the first time Himalaya Airlines has launched flights to Shanghai, expanding its services to a total of nine cities, including the capital, Beijing.
In a press conference held at TIA to announce the inaugural flight, Himalaya Airlines Vice President Vijay Shrestha expressed confidence that the direct air link between Nepal’s capital and China’s prominent commercial and tourist hub would strengthen bilateral relations and attract a greater number of Chinese tourists to Nepal.
Vice President Shrestha emphasized the potential for the Kathmandu-Shanghai air route to elevate Nepal-China relations, foster increased business partnerships, and contribute to a surge in Chinese tourist arrivals.
He noted the recent increase in flights to Chinese cities following the reopening of border crossings post-COVID-19 and anticipated further growth in both flights and tourist numbers in the coming days.
Pratap Babu Tiwari, General Manager of Tribhuvan International Airport, shared his optimism about the rising number of Chinese tourists, citing the gradual expansion of flights from China after the pandemic.
He revealed that over 15,000 passengers are currently traveling through more than 100 international flights at Kathmandu Airport.
Xie Yu, Economic and Commercial Consul of the Chinese Embassy in Nepal, highlighted the strategic importance of Himalaya Airlines’ new route, emphasizing its role in strengthening bilateral ties and its commercial significance.
Shanghai, with a population of approximately 40 million, is recognized as the industrial capital and main commercial center of China. The flight connection is expected to enhance cultural, economic, and tourist exchanges between the two nations.