"2020 is a year of tourism in Nepal, during which officials expect to welcome 2 million tourists from all over the world. We look forward to having more Chinese tourists visit Nepal," Deepak Baral, director of the Air Traffic Management Department of the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority, said in an interview in Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region on June 26.
On that day, the Tibet Autonomous Region Administrative Bureau of the China Civil Aviation Administration and Tribhuvan International Airport of Kathmandu, Nepal signed an air traffic control service agreement in Lhasa.
Sonam Drophe, deputy director of the Tibet Autonomous Region Administrative Bureau of the China Civil Aviation Administration, said that the purpose of the agreement is to further strengthen effective communication between both sides and improve pragmatic cooperation in safety management, air traffic control, and ground operations.
The international air route from Lhasa to Kathmandu opened in 1987. At present, five Chinese airlines including China International Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, and Tibet Airlines operate related business in Nepal, with more than 50 flights per week.
In recent years, aviation services between China and Nepal have gradually expanded. Lhasa, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Kunming, and Hong Kong, China currently offer direct flights to Kathmandu. The number of visitors from China has increased from 5,160 in 2000 to 153,000 in 2018. China has consistently maintained status as the second largest source of tourism for Nepal.