Air China’s southwest division will begin twice-weekly service from Sichuan province’s capital Chengdu to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, on January 5.
Kathmandu is also known as the “City of Temples” and is by far Nepal’s largest city. Its airport is Tribhuvan International Airport (IATA code KTM), the only international airport in Nepal.
The introduction of the new services will bring the number of foreign destinations served by Air China from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (IATA code CTU) up to six and will help cement the city’s position as a regional hub for the airline.
Air China will operate the two weekly round-trips, which will have the flight numbers CA437 and CA438, with Airbus A319 equipment.
According to Air China, the new service will mean passengers between Sichuan and Kathmandu no longer having to connect at Lhasa in Tibet, cutting travel time from 4 hours to 2 hours.
Kathmandu has always been a draw for tourists from all over the world, including China. With Chengdu’s unique position as a major outbound and inbound travel market in southwest China (the Chengdu metropolitan area has more than 14 million inhabitants and is close to many scenic attractions), Air China expects leisure travelers to represent the bulk of the passenger traffic on the route.