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Yangon-Kathmandu air links launched

A general view of the Kathmandu valley in Nepal on Monday. (Reuters photo)

Himalayan Airlines has launched direct flights between Yangon and Kathmandu to promote trade and tourism of the two countries.

The twice-weekly direct flights by the Nepal-China joint venture airline was its second new route after service from the Nepalese capital to Kuala Lumpur, the company said on its website.

This is the first time an airline is flying direct between the two destinations since the Union of Burma Airways -- now called the Myanmar National Airlines -- operated the route between 1989 and 1993.

Myanmar ambassador to Nepal Lwin Oo said the flights would further promote bilateral ties between the two countries, the Myanmar Times reported on Thursday.

"This will promote more political, social, economic, cultural and religious exchanges," he said.

The Nepal-Myanmar trade was worth US$360,000 in 2015, and about 25,000 Myanmar pilgrims visited Nepal last year, Lwin Oo said.

With the direct flights, pilgrims could easily reach Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, he said.

"Most European tourists and others come to Myanmar from Nepal via Thailand. Without having to transit in Thailand, thanks to the direct flights, I think more will come to Myanmar," he added.

A round trip between Kathmandu and Yangon cost US$350, inclusive of government taxes.

UA Ticketing and Tours general manager Lynn Zaw Wai Mang told the Myanmar Times that the price was very reasonable.

"The price people had to pay was $900 previously. With the price so attractive now, we believe more pilgrims will visit Nepal."

Himalaya Airlines vice-president of administration Vijay Shrestha said travellers in Myanmar and Nepal now have more flight options, making international travel more convenient.

Himalaya Airlines also connects Myanmar with Doha and  Colombo.

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