Arkefly, the airline based in Haarlemmermeer in the Netherlands, has announced that it will operate non-stop flights from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, from October 7, 2009.
The Amsterdam-Kathmandu service – to be operated once a week initially – will provide air connectivity between Europe and Nepal after a break of 5 years.
The first Arkefly flight, using a Boeing 737aircraft, is scheduled to land at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu at 2.30 p.m. on October 7, 2009.
According to Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism of Civil Aviation, Arkefly will put in place the regular flight frequency after assessing the commercial viability of the Amsterdam-Kathmandu service.
There has been no direct flight between Europe and Nepal after Nepal Airlines, the state-owned national flag-carrier of Nepal, suspended its services to the European cities of London, Frankfurt and Moscow 5 years ago. Other Europe-based airlines like Austrian Airlines, too, stopped flying directly to Kathmandu in the same period.
In a statement, Arkefly said it decided to operate direct flights from the Netherlands to Nepal in accordance with the Air Service Agreement (ASA) signed between the European Union (EU) and Nepal and about 10 years ago.
Qatar Airways, the flag-carrier airline of Qatar, will be allowed to raise the number of its flights to Nepal 28 each week as per an agreement signed between Qatar and Nepal in September 2009.
The new Amsterdam-Kathmandu service is expected to give a fillip to Destination Nepal Year-2011, according to Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism of Civil Aviation.
As a part of the Destination Nepal Year-2011, China Eastern Airlines, based in Shanghai in China, has also been operating 3 flights a week between Quinmin in China and Kathmandu since September 20, 2009.
According to the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), there was a 32% rise in the number of tourists from China visiting Nepal in September 2009, compared to September 2008.
Arkefly, owned by the Dutch arm of the travel company TUI, has its main base at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. It operates regular flights as well as chartered flights – with most of the chartered flights being operated for Arke, the Netherlands-based tour operator. Arkefly flies to destinations in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Brazil, North Africa, the Netherlands Antilles, and the Canary Islands.
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