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NEWSFLASH - March 2010

Air Dynamic to launch International flights
March 30th: Air Dynamic has also recieved permit from MoTCA(Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation) to launch international flights. The airline will be operating flights on the Bhairahawa-Gaya, Kathmandu-Delhi, Kathmandu-Karachi, Kathmandu-Doha, Kathmandu-Bengaluru, Kathmandu-Bagdogra and Kathmandu-Kuala Lumpur routes. The airline is also planning to fly to other destinations in Europe and Asia, including Hong Kong in the near future.For this the airlline is planning to acquire two Boeing 737-800s and one ATR-72 to facilitate its expansion.

Etihad launches non-stop flights to Tokyo
March 30th: According to a press release issued by Etihad Airways, the airline has commenced non-stop flights from Abu Dhabi to Tokyo becoming the first Middle Eastern airline to operate to the Japanese capital. The inaugural flight, EY878, departed Abu Dhabi at 10:25pm on March 27 and landed at Narita airport in Tokyo at 1.35pm on March 28. Etihad will be operating five non-stop flights per week to Tokyo.

Buddha Air to go International
March 30th: Buddha Air has recieved permit from MoTCA (Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation) to operate flights to India (Pokhara-Lucknow, Janakpur-Patna) and Bhutan (Kathmandu-Thimphu). According to reports, flights to Bhutan will be launched shortly , while flights to the Indian cities of Lucknow & Patna may take a little longer.

Destination Manang 2010
March 29th: Tourism Entrepreneurs' Committee, Manang, supported by the Himalayan Rescue Association is organizing a tourism campaign 'Destination Manang 2010' 'to lure visitors to exotic Manang.The campaign aims to promote local tourism and NTY 2011. As part of the campaign, various programmes will be conducted throughout the year. Horse race, Badhe Festival, Tilicho Taal Festival, deer festival, volleyball tournament and cultural shows etc will some of the programs that will be featured during the campaign. 'Destination Manang 2010' campaign will be launched on April 15th at Chame.

Patan's Kumari - "The Living Goddess" appears for her SLC exams
March 28th: Patan's Kumari ( Living Goddess) , Chanira Bajracharya, is currently appearing for her SLC(School Leaving Certificate) exams. According to tradition , she is allowed to leave her home only 19 times in a year, for certain festivals.Thus SLC exam controllers are coming over to her house to conduct the exam.Private tutors have been appointed to teach her. Kathmandu Valley has three Kumaris (Living Goddesses); at Kathmandu, Patan & Bhaktapur.

Tara Air introduces Hot Air Ballooning in Pokhara
March 28th: Things are hotting up for NTY 2011. Targeting Nepal Tourism Year-2011 (NTY-2011), Tara Air is introducing commercial hot air ballooning in Pokhara with two balloons from April, 2010. One can take the ride from Lake Side Pokhara and enjoy the panoramic vista of the Himalyan peaks from up above.A hot air balloon can carry six people at a time.

Summit Oxygen's 'Vision' Mountaineering Facemask
March 24th: Neil Greenwood, Director of Summit Oxygen, was at EH recently to talk about Summit Oxygen’s new and improved Vision Mountaineering Facemask which they are putting up in the market this season. According to Neil this is an updated version of the mask that they currently have on the market.( More)

Chaite Dashain & Ram Nawami
March 24th: Nepalese Hindus celebrate the victory of good over evil by observing these festivals.(More)

NATHAM to provide training for Trekking Guides
March 23rd: Taking into consideration the demand for skilled manpower for NTY 2011, Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHAM) is planning to provide training to more trekking guides.The academy is providing the training in association with Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN).

Kingfisher Airlines to operate flights in Nepal
March 23rd: According to The Himalayan Times, Kingfisher Airlines, a private Indian airline company is going to start its operation in Nepal. It will conduct flights from the two Indian metros of Delhi and Mumbai to Kathmandu from April 24th.

Sankhu Festival (2-4 April)
March 23rd: Sankhu Festival is all slated to be celebrated in Sankhu, Bhaktapur from April 2 to 4. The festival will showcase various cultural and traditional arts, crafts, foods, dresses, agricultural products, photo exhibition etc.  

NTB - TAAN signs deal on TIMS
March 19th: An agreement on TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) was signed between NTB and TAAN. According to the agreement ( which will come into effect from April 1) a charge of $10 per head will be levied for trekkers booking through agencies and $20 with VAT per head for independent trekkers. The amount collected thus will be used for the welfare of tourism sector workers, exploration of new trekking trails and for funding the infrastructure development on trail routes.This will also control illegal trekking operations and ensure the safety and security of the trekkers through the mechanism of Prompt Information Service (PIS) . Individual trekkers will be given green TIMS cards while trekkers going through companies will be given blue cards.Prachanda Man Shrestha, CEO of NTB and Bachchu Narayan Shrestha, first vice-president of TAAN signed the agreement on 18th March.

NTY 2011- Promoted at ITB Berlin
March 17th: According to a press release issued by NTB, Nepal Tourism Board along with 19 travel trade companies participated at the 44th ITB Fair held in Berlin, Germany from 10th to 14th March 2010.The Nepal Pavilion with its traditional pagoda style design and the display of cultural artifacts generated a lot of ointerests among visitors. To promote NTY 2011 , NTB organized a "Naturally Nepal Evening" on 11th March, which recieved an enthusiastic response from the media and travel trade guests. Around 12,000 companies from 187 countries participted at the fair. According to the press release, ITB 2010 was a prefect platform to promote NTY 2011.

Dhulikhel Festival (March 18th -24th)
March 16th: FNCCI and Dhulikhel Chambers of Commerce is organizing the annual Dhulikhel Festival 2010 from March 18 to 24 at Dhulikhel, Kavre. The festival will feature some 100 stalls exhibiting local products and handicrafts.The event will also feature cultural programs and a food festival.Twenty seven hotels, restaurants and resorts are taking part in the festival.The organizers hope that the festival would help in promoting Dhulikhel for NTY 2011.

Kathmandu celebrates Ghode Jatra
March 15th: Kathmandu is clebrating Ghode Jatra festival today at Tundikhel ground.The President, Prime Minister and other dignitaries will be attending the function, where the cavalry unit from Nepal Army (NA) will be performing various stunts. (More)

Potential Tourist Destinations for NTY 2011
March 14th: At a program organized on NTY 2011 at the capital on 13th March, tourism experts spoke about the need to identify and develop infrastructure in the potential tourist destinations in 50 districts across the country.The speakers insisted that overall improvement in the management of the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) as well as beautification of the capital city should be given due priority to ensure the success of NTY 2011.

Fishtail Air's Team at Air Zermatt, Switzerland
March 9th:A delegation from Fishtail Air, Nepal led by Mr. Suman Pandey, CEO is undergoing observation training in Alpine Rescue Operations with the support of a Swiss Company, ‘Air Zermatt’. Since its inception in 1968, Air Zermatt has pioneered helicopter rescue operations in the Swiss Alps. (More)

Explore Himalaya at ITB Berlin - 2010
March 7th: ITB Berlin 2010, the world's leading global tourism trade fair is scheduled to be held from 10th to 14th March at the German city of Berlin. Explore Himalaya Travel & Adventure will be promoting its products at the fair at the Asian Connections Alliance stand. For marketing queries please visit our stall at Hall 26 A, Booth No. 119.

Four airlines applies license for international operation
March 5th: Four airlines - Buddha Air, Shree Airlines, Unity Airlines and Dynamic Airlines have applied for license to MoTCA fly to international destinations.Buddha Air has announced Pokhara-Lucknow flights and is doing groundwork to start flights in the Biratnangar-Varanasi sector, while Shree Airlines has submitted application for license to operate chartered helicopter services in the South Asia region.Dynamic Airlines, has plans to operate flights to 11 destinations, including Doha, Dubai, Malaysia, New Delhi, Karachi and Dhaka from Kathmandu.

Yeti Airlines & Global Bank signs agreement on e-ticketing
March 4th: Yeti Airlines and Global Bank Ltd signed an agreement to launch E-ticketing from March 3, 2010. This service wll facilitate account holders of Global Bank to purchase Yeti Airlines ticket online.Janak Sharma, Deputy General manager of GBL and Bijay Shrestha, Director of Yeti Airlines signed the agreement on behalf of their organisations.

Fishtail Air's second AS350 B3 lands at TIA
March 2nd: Fishtail Air’s second AS350 B3 helicopter landed at Tribhuvan International Airport on 1st March at 2:30 pm. The helicopter was purchased from Eurocopter South East Asia, Singapore, and flown to Kathmandu by Capt Deepak JB Rana and Capt Siddartha Jung Gurung, accompanied by Bishwo Gorkhali, Chief Engineer. With this new addition,Fishtail Air now has five helicopters in its fleet — a Bell 206 BIII Jet Ranger, an AS350 B and AS350 B2 and two AS350 B3s.

Tourist Arrivals increase by 33%
March 2nd: According to Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), the month of February posted a surge in tourist arrivals by 33% as compared to the same last year. Arrivals from Asian countries registered a robust growth of 69.5%, with China posting a remarkable growth of 242.5%.
 An overall growth of 20.6% has been observed from the European markets as well with rising arrivals from major generating markets such as the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. USA posted a notable growth of 53.2%.The positive growth in tourist arrivals with rising business and consumer confidence foretells success for NTY 2011.

Trail To Dharche Peak- New Trekking route in Gorkha
March 1st: Dharche Manaslu Tourism Committee, Gorkha, has organized a 7 day trek to Dharche Peak ( 3,245m) to map out a new trekking route, which they hope will promote tourism in the area.The team members include Constituent Assembly members, local leaders and journalists. They will be trekking through Lapu, Panchkhuwa, Duerali, Swara, Gumda, Laprak, Barpak, Saurpani and other areas in Gorkha.