Dhaka, Bangladesh
Nepal envoy for stronger connectivity with BD

Nepal envoy for stronger connectivity with BD

News Report: Acting Nepalese Ambassador to Dhaka Dhan Bahadur Oli emphasised strengthening connectivity between the two countries on all fronts saying that there is huge potential to promote Bangladesh-Nepal bilateral relations. "When we talk about connectivity, we don't talk about one-way connectivity," he told reporters at the embassy on Thursday night while announcing Himalaya Airlines' direct flights on Dhaka-Kathmandu-Dhaka route. The airline will operate its A320-214 narrow bodied aircraft on the route, configured with 150 economy class and eight premium economy class seats from July 22 First secretary at Nepalese Embassy Dilli Prasad Acharya, Country Manager, Himalaya Airlines, Bangladesh Sushil Kumar Basnet and Director of SAir Air BD Ltd were, among others, present. The acting Nepalese envoy said this flight will help the people of Bangladesh and Nepal bring closer and know each other better. Sushil Kumar said the ticket price will be much cheaper than others who are currently operating flights on the same route. The airline currently has a fleet of three new Airbus 320-200. The new flight schedule offers expedient travel options for leisure and business travellers, said the airline in a media statement. Bangladesh being a major volume market for Nepalese tourism, the inbound connectivity shall focus predominantly on getting Bangladeshi tourists onboard, it said. With the airlines' regular flights to Middle East destinations like Doha, Dubai and Dammam, the new sector shall also significantly project Kathmandu as a transit hub for Bangladeshi passengers. "We take pleasure to announce our connectivity to another Asian destination - Dhaka - shouldering our role in contributing to the promotion of tourism and business amongst neighboring countries," Vijay Shrestha, Vice President, was quoted as saying. Shrestha said this connectivity will boost new business opportunities between Nepal and Bangladesh and shall also serve as a bridge between the Middle East countries and Bangladesh. "Himalaya Airlines shall be committed to continuing excellent service flavored with Nepali hospitality to its valued passengers." The thrice weekly schedules have convenient timings, where flight - H9 678 departs from Kathmandu at 11:10 (local time), and lands at 13:10 hours (local time) in Dhaka. The return flight -H9 679 departs from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 14:10 hours (local time) the same day and arrives at Tribhuvan International Airport at 15:20 hours. Meanwhile, State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali said that Bangladesh mulls over introducing rail-link with neighbouring Nepal in a bid to improve communication between the two countries and give a boost to the tourism sector. Md Mahbub Ali expressed this view while speaking at the 'Nepalese-Bengali Cultural Evening' at the National Museum recently. It is to be noted here Bangladesh and India had re-- introduced Dhaka-Kolkata rail-link in 2008 with a view to expanding network between the two countries. Mahbub Ali said that the event will help boost up tourism and facilitate people of the both countries and strengthen bilateral ties. The junior minister said Nepal and Bangladesh can work together in improving the tourism sectors of the both countries. Based on mutual interest, Dhaka and Kathmandu are working on a project to protect the tigers in both countries. Md Mahbub Ali said that Nepal enjoys a close and cordial relationship with Bangladesh, marked by goodwill, cooperation, and an understanding of each other's aspirations. Geographical proximity, cultural affinity, shared values and similar views on many regional and international issues bring both the countries as well as their people closer together, he added. The state minister further said Nepal was one of the first countries to recognize Bangladesh as an independent and sovereign state after the Liberation War of 1971. 'During the war, the motivation and support of the Nepali people as well as political leaders had a deep imprint on the first generation of Bangladeshi freedom fighters and politicians." The junior minister also acknowledged that Bangladesh is vigorously marching forward on a new road of development, and added that the success of Bangladesh in the social and economic spheres is inspirational. During the last 10 years, Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina has taken various steps in strengthening relations with negoubouring countries, said the junior minister He said that both governments are using the Kakorvita--Phulbari---BanglaBandha route to give a boost to the bilateral trade. He also said Bangladesh government gives scholarships in medical science to a good number of Nepalese students every year. (Inputs take from UNB)

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