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Brief History of Nepal Airlines

Posted by air_lifter Monday, December 14, 2009

The aviation history of Nepal started in early 1950's. Until 1951, only a few foreigners had penetrated into Nepal. They were mainly British officers of the Gurkha troops, a few scholars and friends of the Royal family. Later on, Indian air companies started their operation for business purposes, and connected Nepal with Indian cities. After the establishment of the national flag carrier, the Royal Nepal Airlines (RNA), the route expansion of civil aviation made extensive progress domestically and internationally.

The civil aviation service started in Nepal in 1953 with three old American -made DC-3 Dakotas belonging to an Indian company. After five years, Nepal established its own registered airline, Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation in July 1958 with one DC-3. At the beginning,its service was limited to Indian cities like Patna, Calcutta and Delhi in the International Sector and to Simara, Pokhara and Biratnagar in the Domestic Sector.

Royal Nepal took over an international schedule in 1960. Starting with a fleet of Douglas DC-3's, the airline quickly moved on to the turboprop Fokker F-27. The commissioning of the remarkable Twin Otter and Pilatus Porter aircraft into the Royal Nepal Airlines fleet in 1970s brought about a quick and easy way of accessing many of the remote regions of the kingdom.

By the early 1970s the airline had introduced Hawker Siddeley HS-748 turboprops, and Boeing 727 jet airliners were introduced in 1972 after Kathmandu's runway had been extended for medium sized jet operations. The Boeing 727s were gradually replaced by Boeing 757s.

At present RNAC operates 10 international destinations namely Banglore, Delhi and Mumbai , Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Osaka, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and Dubai. In Domestic operations it connects more than 35 destinations inside Nepal.

More than 90 percent of Nepal's area is covered by mountains. Moreover, Nepal is also landlocked. Without the use of air transport, remote places are cut off from point of view of tourism, food supply and other essential requirement. Rural places such as Solukhombu, Mustang, Humla, Dolpa are accesible by airways only as there are no any roadway connection to other parts of the country.

The transport system being the main factor for the economic development of the country, and RNAC is a strong vehicle for national integration and has proved to be a symbol of freedom movement, both within and outside the country. It is the pride of Nepal.

Source: Nepal Airlines Corporation, Kathmandu, Nepal

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1 Responses to Brief History of Nepal Airlines

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