POKHARA, April 22: Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) successfully operated its first flight from Manang to Jomsom on Thursday.
According to Ratnakar Chaudhary, District Manager of NAC, Captain Sanjay Vaidya and copilot Yogesh Hirachan flew the 9 N- ABU twin otter at the altitude of 11,000 feet from Humde of Manang.
As per the decision made earlier, NAC´s Pokhara office had operated its flight to Jomsom of Mustang from Humde carrying six passengers while nine passengers were flown from Jomsom to Pokhara. Among the passengers from Manang were four journalists and two foreign tourists.
Captain Vaidya said the Humde-Jomsom bound aircraft would be flown at the height of 16,000 ft. He, however, said that the route was risky, especially for a non pressurized aircraft like twin otter. For safety measure, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has to give permission to this route as well.
He informed the Manang-Jomsom flight would be continued on a regular basis if the NAC board decides so. NAC is the only airlines to operate Pokhara-Manang-Pokhara flights.
Due to high altitude, NAC´s twin otter carries only eight to 10 passengers to and from Humde. The actual capacity of the aircraft under normal conditions is 16.
Proposal to reduce airfare
According to Chaudhary, the NAC´s Pokhara Office has proposed to reduce the airfare for Pokhara-Manang flight to Rs 2,400 from Rs 3,950. The government is spending Rs 45 million for extension of airport infrastructure and runway in Humde airport in current fiscal 2009/2010.
NAC is also planning to operate flight from Pokhara to Bhairahawa.