Nepal to resume direct flights to Mumbai

April 21st, 2009 - 3:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Govinda Kathmandu, April 21 (IANS) First, there was a steady stream of visits to Kathmandu by Mumbai’s glitterati, including Shabana Azmi, Govinda, Sukhwinder Singh and Daler Mehndi.
Now Nepal’s tourism ministry has decided to cash in on the interest shown in Nepal by Mumbai-ites by announcing direct Kathmandu-Mumbai flights from May 1.

The state carrier, Nepal Airlines, will now make the trip twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. A two-way ticket will cost NRS 20,000 ($250) exclusive of taxes while for the first three months the airline is offering a discount of NRS 2,000.

The two-hour-plus flight will take off from Kathmandu at 1.45 p.m.

In the past, the state carrier had operated the flight from 1992 to 2007. But it was discontinued due to the low volume of visitors as Nepal passed through a period of political turbulence.

Now with the Maoist insurgency that killed over 13,000 people having ended and the new Maoist-led government trying to boost tourism, new Tourism Minister Hisila Yami has announced that the national carrier would in future start direct flights to seven other Indian cities.

Indians constitute the bulk of tourists to landlocked Nepal. However, since last year, the number of Indian visitors has been on the decline.

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