New trans-Himalayan flight links Nepal, Tibet and Sichuan

An airline in China is launching a new flight that crosses the Himalayas to connect three key regional cities.

Sichuan Airlines will operate an Airbus A319 on the route
Sichuan Airlines will operate an Airbus A319 on the route

Operated by Sichuan Airlines, the new scheduled service will fly from Chengdu, in southwest China’s Sichuan province, to Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, with a stop in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

The new route will commence in January 2015, operating daily using a two-class, 132-seat Airbus A319 aircraft. The departure and arrival times will be announced at a later date.

Airbus says its single-aisle A320-series, which includes the smaller A319, are suited to high altitude airports due to its “exceptional take-off and climb characteristics”.

More than 113,000 Chinese people visited Nepal in 2013, making it the mountainous nation’s second largest tourism source market, behind India. China and Nepal also recently revised their bilateral Air Service Agreement (ASA) to provide 70 weekly flights between the two counties by 2016, up from current 35 flights.

Currently Air China operates 10 weekly flights between Chengdu and Kathmandu, include daily direct services.

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