February 23: Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is preparing to halt its flights to Osaka starting from February 27.
Officials at the state-run airline company said that they decided to stop the flights to Osaka after getting permission to operate direct flights to Narita, which has better prospects for the company than Osaka.
The cash-strapped airline, which had re-launched its flights to Osaka since August 29, was struggling to find passengers along the route. Authorities believe there would be no such problems for flights to Narita as large number of Nepalis live in this area making the flights economically more viable.
NAC recently announced that it is ready to operate direct flights to Narita of Japan from March 2. The flag carrier of Nepal confirmed in a statement on February 10 that it will operate three flights a week to Narita.
The state-run airlines will operate flights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays using the newly-purchased wide-body Airbus, the statement added.
The one-way fare to Narita has been set at Rs 37,000 for the time being to promote the new route. Likewise, the round-trip fare is Rs 73,000.
NAC believes that the flights to Narita will facilitate people travelling to Tokyo and nearby areas while the passengers will not have to go through transit anymore with the launch of direct flights.
NAC believes Narita has better prospects for Nepal than Osaka from commercial point of view.
NAC had been operating flights to Osaka from 1994 till 2007, after which it stopped the flights citing lack of aircraft. NAC re-launched its flights to Osaka last year after purchasing two wide-body aircraft of Airbus.
Back in the 90s and 2000s, NAC used to operate flights to Osaka via Shanghai.