Full-service carrier, Himalaya Airlines will launch a direct flight between Kathmandu (Nepal’s capital) and Colombo (Sri Lanka’s capital) on October 1.

A 158-seater (150 economy and eight business class seats) A320-214 aircraft will serve the route on Tuesday and Saturday. Flight H9-673 will depart Kathmandu at 1130 and arrive in Colombo at 1515. Return flight H9-674 will leave Colombo at 1615 and arrive in Kathmandu at 2015.

“We have found much potential in this route after analysing the air traffic data between the two countries over the last several years,” says Vijay Shrestha, vice-president of administration at Himalaya Airlines.

Currently, Himalaya Airlines flies an A320-214 daily between Kathmandu and Doha. Flight H9-555 takes off from Kathmandu at 2300 and lands in Doha at 0130. Return flight H9-556 takes off from Doha at 0230 and reaches Kathmandu at 1015.

Himalaya Airlines was established in 2014 as a joint venture between Nepal (51.01 per cent) and China (48.99 per cent) and and has its headquarter in Nepal. It began operations from May 31, 2016 with Kathmandu-Doha being its inaugural flight.

Its website reads: “Over the coming five years, the airline aims at acquiring 15 Airbus 320 family aircraft and will operate from Kathmandu to various cities in Asia and beyond. The company will introduce long haul wide body aircraft of (the) A330 family in due course of time for the operation of direct flights to Japan, Korea, Europe, Australia, and America.”