In February 1993 Nepal and Japan revised their 1988 air service agreement – 400 weekly seats to a Nepalese carrier per week which loosely translated to 2 flights per week.
Yesterday, the ASA was revised again:
- 14 flights per week (2 flights per day) to any international airport of Japan except Haneda Airport. Haneda Airport is closest to Tokyo however was denied permission owing to the already large amount of flights the airport handles.
- Nepalese carriers have also been granted ‘fifth freedom’ traffic rights. Fifth freedom to carriers implies the freedom of revenue airlines to either approach a destination after making a transit stop elsewhere, or head to another country after making a transit in Japan and then back to the home country. Japan will allow three flights a week to approach from a transit country and 2 flights a week to other destinations from Japan.
Japan has become a popular destination for Nepalese people – thousands fly from Nepal for the purpose of education, tourism or business. Nepal was losing on revenue, however the revision of the ASA could give a huge boost for Nepalese airlines. Furthermore, the fifth amendment could enable Nepalese carriers to fly further west, up to the United States with a transit in Japan.
Nepal is expecting two wide bodied aircraft for long distance flights very soon, one in June itself.
Addition of the two A330 – 200s is expected to revive a lot of Nepal’s discontinued airline destinations.