Malaysian no-frills carrier AirAsia X links Kathmandu

AirAsia X conducted its maiden flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu with an Airbus A330-300 on Tuesday. The Malaysia-based long-haul, low-cost carrier said it would be operating twice weekly flights between the two cities.

Incentive Tours and Travels, general sales agent (GSA) of AirAsia X in Nepal, said that the one-way promotional fare has been fixed at Rs 11,000 and the return fare at Rs 20,000 (both excluding taxes). The normal fare will range from Rs 11,000 to Rs 15,000.

Hari Man Lama, executive chairman of Incentive, said that the carrier had been approved to operate daily flights by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), and that it would utilize this right in the near future.

AirAsia X flies to China, Japan, Australia, Brunei and Korea. Airline officials said that its network would permit more convenient connections for Nepali travellers.

“AirAsia’s revolutionary low fare will open travel demand between the two nations,” said Azhanudin Shah Azman, Flight Operations Director of AirAsia X. “AirAsia X will open up flight purchase online as we see strong tourism potential to Nepal and vice versa.”

The entry of AirAsia X will end the monopoly of Nepal Airlines on the Kathmandu-Kula Lumpur sector. The national flag carrier, which now operates six flights weekly, has planned additional flights.

Tri Ratna Manandhar, director general of CAAN, said that Malaysia was one of the sectors with potential, and that the entry of AirAsia X would benefit Nepali migrant workers in terms of cost and connectivity.

Malaysia is one of the major destinations for Nepali migrant workers. An estimated 450,000 Nepalis are working in the Southeast Asian country.

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