Buddha Air conducted a test flight from Kathmandu with its ATR-72 aircraft to the newly-upgraded Tumlingtar airport in eastern Nepal on 4 June.
The airline plans to start regular flights using the higher capacity aircraft on the Kathmandu-Tumlingtar route as soon as the lockdown is lifted. Till now, the carrier was using the smaller 16-seater Beechcraft 1900D on the flight.
“We hope that the higher capacity ATR-72 will mean that the fares on the Tumlingtar sector will also come down,” said Buddha Air’s Dipendra Kumar Karna.
Tumlingtar Airport serves a region that is booming because of its proximity to three large hydropower projects on the Arun River. It is also the gateway to the Makalu region for treks and expeditions.
With the completion of the Midhill Highway, the airport is also offers easier access to Chainpur, Khandbari as well as other towns in Diktel and Sankhuwasabha Districts.