BB Airways to start service from Oct 11

September 13, 2012

News/Events

Nepali startup BB Airways on Saturday announced its scheduled flights to Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong from October 11 with its Boeing 757-200 aircraft. The carrier also announced charter flights to Seam Reap, Cambodia and Narita, Tokyo.

Aviation analysts said the launch of BB Airways on the Kathmandu-Kuala Lumpur sector is likely to benefit passengers from a cut-price airfare war. The sector, of late, has become a very busy route. Nepal Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia X, Biman Bangladesh, Jet Airways and Thai Airways are some of the carriers serving the sector.

According to BB Airways, return fares on the Kathmandu-Kuala Lumpur sector start from Rs 36,000. For Kathmandu-Hong Kong, return fares start from Rs 48,000. The carrier will be flying four weekly—Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday—scheduled flights to Kuala Lumpur and three weekly—Monday, Friday and Sunday—scheduled flights to Hong Kong, the promoters said. “We are a legacy carrier, yet we will be competing with budget airlines in providing the most competitive airfare to our valued passengers,” said BB Airways Chairman Bhaban Bhatta.

Although the carrier was scheduled to start its service from September 13, the plan was postponed to October 11. “We rescheduled the operation to mark the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) Day on October 11,” Bhatta said, who is the treasurer of International Coordination Council of NRNA and owns several businesses in Japan and Nepal. However, according to the carrier, charter flight to Seam Reap is scheduled on September 13, while charter flight to Tokyo will commence from October. “We will be conducting charter service to Tokyo and Seam Reap at present, as there are some bi-lateral agreements to be proceeded,” said Hari Bhakta Shrestha, chief operating officer of BB Airways.

Shrestha said another Boeing 757 will be added to the fleet soon. “With the arrival of the second aircraft, we plan to connect Bangkok, Singapore, New Delhi and Doha,” he said.

As per the carrier’s strategic plan, two Boeing 767s will also be added in the fleet in the near future to serve Shanghai, Frankfurt, London, Seoul, Sydney and Lhasa. The entry of BB Airways in the Nepali skies makes it the third carrier to serve international destination at present. Currently, Nepal Airlines and Buddha Air are serving to different international destinations.

According to the carrier, Nepali carriers’ business share in the international destination is less than 10 percent. “Considering the bitter truth that the number of Nepali carriers that served international destinations failed to sustain in the past years, we have move forward and aspire to establish BB Airways as a true flag carrier of Nepal,” Bhatta said. “The carrier is being run by Nepali-Japanese professional management team.”

BB Airways said it aspires to rewrite the image of Nepali airlines as a safe, reliable, affordable, prompt and delightful carrier. Amid concerns about rising jet fuel price, Bhatta said the government should bring a special policy to support Nepali carriers and enable them to fly in a sustainable manner.

BB Airways got its Airlines Operator’s Certificate on April 12.

Its ICAO call sign is BBW and IATA code is BO.

source; ekantipur

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