Nepalese State-Owned Airlines To Fly In Australian Airs

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Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), the flag carrier airline of Nepal, is gearing up to operate in Australia. Formerly known as the Royal Nepal Airlines, NAC is slated to fly twice weekly to Sydney.

Australia and Nepal entered a bilateral air service agreement on 30 September 2019. This was the latest agreement the Nepalese government signed. The agreement states that the two countries may engage in airline travels, and the Nepalese airline may land in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth.

Ramesh Poudel, the official spokesperson for NAC, noted that “the government has designated the NAC as the official airline for flights to Australia.” Four years later, the state-owned NAC has started to prepare to transport travellers from Kathmandu to Sydney and vice-versa. NAC started realising the service agreement in April.

NAC deputy spokesperson Ganesh Kumar Ghimire said, “We are currently busy making the necessary preparations to fly to Sydney.” Ghimire added that NAC has already started requesting quotations from companies interested in providing NAC with its ground handling and other land services in Sydney.

The airline aims to fly travellers to and from each country’s capital every Tuesday and Friday, catering to an average of 87,000 individuals. The airline is planning to utilise its 274-seat A330-200 plane. The flight plan will also alleviate Kathmandu’s largest unserved airport-level market.

NAC’s work is expected to boost both countries’ tourism sectors. Australia’s tourism has been steadily improving thanks to China reopening its borders. China is one of the most significant contributors to Australia’s tourism revenue. More than 1.4 million Chinese tourists visited the country right before the pandemic.

However, Australia’s flagship carrier airline may see NAC’s plans as challenging in their attempt to monopolise the airways. Qantas, the most significant Australian airline, is making moves to get the lion’s share of the Australian market with its effort to acquire a smaller Alliance Aviation airline. Unfortunately, their merger plans were stopped by the competition watchdog ACCC.

Many are anticipating the start of NAC’s services in Australia, which will is expected to materialise within the year.

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