Turkish Airlines will be operating 4 flights a week in the Kathmandu-Istanbul-Kathmandu sector from September 2013, and has launched special fares from cities in the United States to Kathmandu, Nepal.
Many of our clients have been asking about the quality of service and reputation of the airline, since it is not popular with travelers to Nepal; hence, this post aims to give you a brief description of the airline and provide links so that our valued clients can also do their own research.
One of the most reliable ways to get information about an airline is through SKYTRAX, which is the “world largest airline review site.” SKYTRAX rates Turkish Airlines as a 4-Star airline. As of this writing, there are 34 airlines that are rated 4-stars and just 7 airlines that are 5-star rated. Please visit this link to see the full list.
Some of the 4-star airlines that currently have flights to Nepal are as follows: Dragon Air, Etihad Airways, Korean Air, Oman Air, Silk Air, and Thai Airways.
You can also visit Turkish Airline’s official website here for more information.
Turkish Airlines was also named the Best Airline in Europe for 2012.
The Nepal Hospitality Group has signed an agreement with a subsidiary of Marriott International to open a four-star property, Fairfield in Kathmandu. This is yet another encouraging sign for the Nepal tourism & hospitality sector.
Recently Sheraton also announced plans to open a five-star property in Kathmandu, and Turkish Airlines is starting direct flights from Istanbul to Kathmandu from September 2013.
In another encouraging sign for Nepal’s aviation sector, Turkish Airlines has announced direct flights from Istanbul to Kathmandu. The flights will start from September 1, 2013; Turkish Airlines will be operating 4 flights a week in this sector, according to a press release.
This is amazing news for travelers from North America to Nepal, as travelers can now get a one-stop flight to Nepal from major cities. Turkish Airlines, a four-star airline, operates direct flights to over 200 destinations worldwide and several major cities in the United States and Canada. You can view the destinations here.
As of this writing, round trip fares from New York to Kathmandu for travel in September-onwards start from $1235 (inclusive of all taxes and fees)
It would not be fair to say that Dashain & Tihar (Nepal’s biggest festival season) is here yet and get your hopes high; after all it is almost 4.5 months away. But as far as booking your travel plans go, it is safe to assume that Dashain & Tihar are already here.
Airfares to Nepal, similar to last year, will be rather high if you do not book on time. Even booking as early as today will not be very cheap so if you plan to travel to Nepal during September-October, we highly advise you to make your bookings as soon as possible.
Here are the exact Festival season dates:
|Name of Festival Day||Date|
|Ghatasthapana||October 11, 2013|
|Phulpati||October 12, 2013|
|Maha Astami||October 13, 2013|
|Bijaya Dashami||October 14, 2013|
|Ekadashi||October 15, 2013|
|Dwadashi||October 16, 2013|
|Laxmi Pooja||November 3, 2013|
|Govardhan Pooja||November 4, 2013|
|Bhai Tika||November 5, 2013|
|Chhath Parba||November 9, 2013|
You can call us @ 1 (508) 203-4590 for bookings, or you can request an airfare quote here.
The image is of the Great one-horned Rhino and its calf. This picture was taken at the Chitwan National Park, Nepal during an elephant Jungle safari.
The rhino population has been growing steadily over the years, In Nepal. According to a report, a survey in 2011 indicated that there were 534 rhinos in Nepal an increase from 435 in 2008 and 372 in 2005.
The total population of rhinos in the wild was estimated at 2,575 in 2007.
Please visit the link below to learn about this beautiful animal, what is being done to protect them, and how you can contribute.
We are glad to announce SALE FARES on Qatar Airways from Washington, Houston, and Chicago to Kathmandu.
Please see the details below:
Round Trip Fares (Including all taxes):
|Name of Airlines||Departure City (Route)||Round Trip Fares (Including all Taxes)||Travel Before Date|
|Qatar Airways||Washington (IAD)||$1009||March 14, 2013|
|Qatar Airways||Houston (IAH)||$1100||March 14, 2013|
|Qatar Airways||Chicago (CHI)||$1299||April 10, 2013 – 12 June 2013|
Sale Fare Condition:
To get the deal you will have to purchase ticket by February 3, 2013.
To make a reservation please call us today @ 1 (508) 203-4590, or email us at email@example.com.
You can also click here to visit our website and fill out our booking request form.
Please note that these are special fares on a very good (5-star rated) airline, so please make the best of it if you plan to travel to Nepal soon and did not purchase a ticket in the previous Qatar Sale.
Also, please note that these promotional fares have significant cancellation and date change charges. Please be sure to consider them before purchasing the ticket.
When do you plan to travel to Nepal and how early you book your ticket to Nepal are probably two of the most significant factors that will determine how much you pay. Last summer we had posted a blog: How to get a Cheap Ticket to Nepal; the factors mentioned there are still the same. The main factors are: book early, flexibility, avoid weekends, and airline high season.
As the summer travel season is just a few months away, we wanted to add a few things that are different this season. The first thing is demand for travel to Nepal has significantly increased. In 2012, a little less than 600,000 tourist visited Nepal by flight and approximately 700,000 Nepalese arrivals at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) were recorded.
An additional factor is the announcement by Gulf Air that they are cancelling all flights to Kathmandu, Nepal from March 25, 2013. This will put additional pressure on ticket prices from USA to Nepal; it was the cheapest option available.
Hence, if you plan to travel to Nepal, or any other destination, please call your travel agent as soon as your trip dates are confirmed. Nepal Travels recommends that you book as soon as possible to save big on airfare.
Gulf Air has announced the cancellation of all flights in the Bahrain-Kathmandu-Bahrain sector from March 24, 2013. It has also decreased the number of flight to 5 flights per week, from the existing 14 flights per week, from January 11, 2013. Gulf Air has cited “commercial reason” for the closure of its operation.
This closure announcement by Gulf Air will increase ticket prices for travel after March 24, 2013 from the east coast of the United States to Kathmandu, Nepal. However, there are still many airfare deals to Nepal, especially for passengers who book early. As we have always said previously, the surest way to get a good deal on air tickets to Nepal from the United States—is to BOOK EARLY!
Hence, if you plan to travel to Nepal this summer it is not too early to call your travel agent and make reservations. The difference in airfare prices for booking early and booking late could run into hundreds of dollars per person. Hence, book early to ensure that you pay less for flights!
Visit here to request an airfare quote from Nepal Travels, or you can call us at 1 (508) 203-4590!
The Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) is the only international airport in Nepal. It is located in the capital Kathmandu. According to recent data, TIA handled 2.09 million passengers during the period January 2012-September 2012; it handled approximately 2.7 million passengers in 2011 and is expect to handle around 3 million passengers in 2012. Currently 30 international carriers have schedule service to the Tribhuvan International Airport. In 2011, there were 22,792 flight arrivals and departure into and out of Kathmandu, Nepal.
For detailed information on the international flights to Kathmandu, Nepal, please visit our Flights Page. You will also find an interactive map that indicates all the non-stop flights to Nepal, and lets you see some of the major flight connections to Nepal from the United States and Canada.
A few simple things that will make the travel easy for you and your children
Traveling to Nepal from North America by any measure is a long and arduous journey. The20-30 hours “wheels up” time, multiple stops, long layovers, inevitable lines and security checks will challenge even the most experienced traveler.
These challenges become more pronounced when traveling with infants and young children. However, with some preparation and a lot of patience, you can not only survive the trip,you can also make it somewhat enjoyable for everyone. I’m speaking here not only as a travel agent, but also as a traveling Dad, making five trips in five years, from the U.S. to Nepal with either one or two children under the age of five.
So, here are my “top 4″ strategies for your next family trip:
1. Minimize Total Travel Time
Getting to your destination in the quickest time is very important. My experience is that children will begin “feel and express” the adverse effects of the trip after 5-10 hrs, and thus the longer the trip the harder it is on them and the parent(s). As the majority of time is spent in the air choosing the most direct route is advisable.
a. From the East Coast of North America: Travel via the Middle East and India is most advisable as they offer the shortest times in the Air. Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and many airlines offer 1-stop flights into Kathmandu.
b. From the West Coast of North America: It is advisable to go through the pacific route for a shorter trip to Nepal. Cathay Pacific, Singapore Air, China Airways, Thai Airways all offer 1-stop flights into Kathmandu.
For those traveling from the middle of the continent, with the exception of Houston and Chicago, one has to take an additional flight into east and west coast.
2. Shorten Transit Time
The ideal situation would be to have the shortest in-the-air time along with the shortest transit times (currently there are no direct flights to Nepal from North America). While some great options are available, they usually sell out faster and are usually more expensive.
Singapore Air and Cathay Pacific flights from New York are good examples of short transit times in Singapore and Hong Kong respectively. Thai Airways from LAX is a great 1-stop short transit flight to Kathmandu. Qatar Airways offers good 1-stop 6-hour transit in Qatar flights originating in Washington DC, New York and Houston. Many flights from North America that arrive in the early morning in New Delhi are good short 1-transit options.
3. Select Kid-Friendly Airports
If you cannot get the short transit times, it is important to consider the “child friendly value” of the airports you are transiting through.
- Does it offer an airport hotel (where everyone can nap and take a bath)? (E.g. Qatar do not, Singapore and Hong Kong do)
- Does it have an indoor play area for kids to let off steam and meet other young travelers? (E.g. London Heathrow and Frankfurt do not, Singapore and Qatar do)
- Are there multiple food options available?
- Are there family restrooms for changing diapers and clothes?
In my personal experience, Singapore Changi airport is the best to transit through with children. Our kids look forward to seeing the koi ponds and gardens, hang out in the play areas, have a snack at Starbucks, shop for toys, ride the SkyTrain and visit the Butterfly Garden.
4. Make the Most of In-Flight Services
The attitude and services of the in-flight staff towards infants and children makes a huge difference in the quality of your long trip to Nepal.
Most international flights provide a “goodie” bag for kids at the beginning of the flight, and only keep the kids busy for an hour or two. There is a wide variety of in-flight entertainment. However, you will definitely want to bring your own age-appropriate toys and DVDs for the journey.
Other things to consider:
- Will they seat you with a bassinet for sleeping infants? (Note you will need to hold the child at take-off, landing and whenever the seatbelt sign is on)
- Will they offer to re-seat other travelers so you can all travel together, or even have an extra seat for the family?
- Do they offer free milk (for baby bottles) and kid-friendly snacks and meals?
- Are kids meals brought first, and can special requests be made to accommodate allergies or preferences?
On these points, we have had very positive experiences on Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Qatar Airways.
Traveling half-way around the world to Nepal with young children is never going to be a walk in the park. Preparing yourself and your children both mentally and physically for the trip, in addition to doing your homework on travel options, will help you make an informed decision so that you and your kids can make the most of the journey.
Note: This article first appeared on the April Issue of Namaste Nepal, Nepal Travels’ monthly newsletter.