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vivekman2006
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Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:35 pm

Voyage to Nepal with Nepal Airlines & Buddha Air

Background: The whole thing started in August this year, as I began planning for my annual winter vacation. This time I was travelling alone, so I could mix business (sightseeing) with pleasure (spotting)   After some research on probable destinations, I decided to visit Nepal. For Indians, visiting Nepal is absolutely hassle-free as you do not need a passport or a visa (only an identification document), and Indian currency is accepted as legal tender!

There are no direct flights from BOM to KTM anymore, so I searched for options from DEL. In addition to the plain vanilla IC and 9W flights, I had an option of choosing between Cosmic Air (F5) and Nepal Airlines (RA). I chose Cosmic Air to try their exotic Fokker 100s, but there was no guarantee that the airline would resume its flights soon, so I asked my travel agent to book me on RA instead. I had never flown on 757s before – there are none in India – so this was a good chance to add this type to my log. I booked tickets on the superfast Rajdhani Express train between BOM and DEL to satisfy my train spotting (or railfanning) interest as well!

1) DEL-KTM

Reaching the airport: DEL Terminal 2, which handles all the international flights, is situated on the opposite side of the airport from the Domestic Terminal. It took me just over 30 minutes by taxi to reach the airport from the hotel. There was a sizeable crowd of people at the Hajj terminal, which is understandable considering the Hajj season is currently underway. There seemed to be quite a lot of work being done on the construction of the new Terminal 3, and it looked massive. It is scheduled to open in 2010, in time for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi.

As I got out of my taxi, I got a jolt as the departure board showed a one hour delay for my flight. Cursing RA, I made my way inside and was greeted by the recently refurbished terminal.



Check-In: The check-in counters opened at 1200 – two and half hours before the new departure time, and there was already a queue. I requested for an aisle seat in the second last row, but the check-in agent probably did not understand what I had asked for and assigned me seat 7B. However, the load looked light from the number of people assembled there so changing seats would not be an issue. The boarding pass itself was hand-written with only the flight number and destination stamped on using a rubber stamp!



The immigration process took not more than 5 minutes, after which I proceeded towards the Security Check. This too took hardly 10 minutes, and I then decided to check out the duty free area. The duty free area has also been refurbished and expanded recently and in addition to the usual liquor-cigarettes-perfume stuff, had a nice collection of traditional Indian handicraft and souvenirs.

The Wait: After whiling away time at the duty free shop, I proceeded towards Gate No. 4, which was assigned to our flight. There were not more than 30-35 people sitting there waiting for the flight, so it indeed looked like a light load. There was a steady stream of arrivals at that hour and in addition to the usual domestic stuff, the notable sightings were a CX 333, CI 333, VS 346 and an FG 727.



Even as the clock struck 2PM, there was no sign of the arrival of our aircraft. The departures screen still showed the departure time as 1430 and status as “Delayed” I wonder how we were going to leave on time! As I was mulling over this thought, the confirmation of a further delay came. Our departure was now pushed back to 1515. Bored of waiting, I sat down and waited patiently for our 757 to arrive.



Finally at 1420, I saw the tail of our aircraft emerge from behind the terminal building, and this was noticed by a few others as well. The word spread around quickly and people stood up and lined up at the windows to get a glimpse of the aircraft. It was almost as if an A380 had arrived there!



The 757 was docked at the gate and soon a stream of people started flowing out. After some five minutes, I realized that something was wrong. There was a growing group of people including Nepalis and Westerners who were detained and had been asked to wait at the side, while the others proceeded towards the Immigration area. After everyone had exited, the RA ground staff was seen having discussions with the detained group, which included examination of documents and questioning. I have absolutely no idea of what was happening but this process lasted nearly 20 minutes!

Finally, at 1500, the group dispersed and the boarding announcement came. A collective sigh of relief went around the departure hall, as the bored people surprisingly queued up in an orderly fashion to board the aircraft.


Sector: DEL-KTM
Airline: Nepal Airlines
Flight: RA 206
Aircraft: Boeing 757-2F8C
Registration: 9N-ACB 'Gandaki’
Scheduled Departure: 1325 Actual Departure: 1520
Scheduled Arrival: 1525 Actual Arrival: 1735
Seat: 7B



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Boarding: There was no sequential boarding, and people just lined up in a single queue. I was greeted by a warm “Namaste” by a smiling FA, who looked at my boarding pass and ushered me to the mini-Economy Class cabin upfront, just behind the Shangri-La class (Business Class) cabin. Row 7 was the last row of this mini-cabin. This particular aircraft – 9N-ACB was originally built as a Combi – the only 757 Combi ever built, but has always been operated in an all passenger configuration. The remnants of the forward cargo door can be seen from the outside.

The boarding process was completed in quick time and at 1520, the aircraft doors were closed. Only the window seat was occupied in my row, and the aisle seat was free, so I moved myself to seat 7C.

The Flight: We waited and waited for the pushback to begin, but the aircraft did not move an inch. After a while, the captain announced that there was a technical issue with the ground tug, and we would push back once it was resolved. Finally, at 1545, we were pushed back and one by one the Rolls Royce RB211 engines came alive. With one last check of the flaps and ailerons, we began our taxi towards Runway 28.

As we reached taxiway Whiskey, we did not slow down or stop to line up on the runway, but proceeded straight instead – towards Runway 27. Apparently Runway 28 was shut for maintenance, and we were to take off from the oldest runway at DEL. We lined up and after a minute or so, got our take-off clearance. With a loud growl, the RB 211s powered our aircraft down the runway, and after a 40 second roll, we lifted off into the hazy Delhi sky.

As soon as the seat-belt signs were switched off, the crew appeared and distributed the Nepali immigration cards. As soon as this was done, they began their meal service. As it was a short flight, the drink and lunch service was combined. Even then, the collection of drinks – alcoholic and otherwise was quite decent. I chose a Heineken beer to go with my non-vegetarian meal.



The meal itself was quite good, not quite in the AI/IC league but still much better than some other airlines.

As I was finishing the meal, I looked through the windows and saw a neat line of snow capped Himalayan peaks in the distance! What a sight it was – the peaks shimmered in the light of the evening sun.



Meal finished, I headed to the main Economy cabin and saw that we had a load factor of only 30% or so. I wonder if it is profitable for RA to operate this route.

I settled down in my seat as the crew began preparations for landing. It had become quite dark on the ground now, as we were heading east, and I could make out the lights in small towns below. We soon lined up with Runway 02, and descended amidst some haze covered mountains.



At exactly 1735, we touched down smoothly, but then the pilots deployed some heavy reversers to slow us down rapidly. As we exited the runway, I could see our sister aircraft – 9N-ACA along with a QR A320 parked at the apron.

Slowly, people started de-planing and I clicked one final shot of the Shangri-La Class cabin and thanked the crew before leaving. We were then bussed to the Arrivals section of the Tribhuvan International Airport. As I made my way to the Immigration area, I saw a huge queue of people waiting to get their Nepali visas processed. Thankfully, I did not have to join the queue, and passed through an empty immigration counter by showing my Indian passport and submitting the Nepali arrival card.



Within minutes, my bag appeared over the conveyor belt and I made my way out of the terminal and into the chilly Kathmandu evening.

Flight Rating:

Ticket Price: 4/5

Punctuality: 2/5

Aircraft condition: 3/5

Cabin crew: 4/5

Food: 3/5

Ground handling: 4/5

Overall (Average): 3.33

2) Everest Experience Mountain flight

Background: I had heard and read a lot about the mountain sight-seeing flights in Nepal. I decided to experience one of these and booked myself on Buddha Air’s “Everest Experience” flight leaving KTM at 0730.

Reaching the airport: The reporting time at the airport was 0700. This meant I had to wake up at 0600 and leave the hotel at 0630. That too, in a weather that is just perfect for sleeping   Nevertheless, the anticipation and excitement of viewing the Himalayas from 25000ft meant that I was up and running in no time at all. The taxi ride to the airport took around 25 minutes, and soon I found myself in the crowded domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport.

Check-In: There were quite a few domestic and sightseeing flights departing at that time, which meant a huge chaos at the check-in counters and beyond. One has to pay Departure tax even for a sightseeing flight in Nepal, and after doing so, I checked-in for my flight.

Security check was done in a jiffy, and I proceeded to the departure hall of the terminal, which looked more like a state transport bus station rather than an airport. There were people everywhere and not enough seats. In addition to this, there were no prominent flight display screens or announcements. One had to be alert at all times, as the boarding announcements were shouted out by the ground staff. There were many people waiting for the various mountain flights which meant that these are quite popular amongst tourists.

Soon, I learnt that our flight was delayed and we would depart at around 0800. I stood there looking out at all the usual traffic – Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines and Nepal Airlines. The tiny propeller driven aircraft were buzzing everywhere like flies!


Sector: KTM-KTM (Everest Experience flight)
Airline: Buddha Air
Flight: BHA 201
Aircraft: Beech 1900D
Registration: 9N-AEW
Scheduled Departure: 0730 Actual Departure: 0800
Scheduled Arrival: 0830 Actual Arrival: 0900
Seat: 4A



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Boarding: Our boarding call was shouted out at 0750, and we made our way to the waiting Buddha Air bus. There was a lot of excitement amongst the 16 of us who were to fly on this adventure to the mountains. As we waited to let aircraft taxi by, I was greeted by the sight of the newly inducted ATR-42s of Buddha Air.



A real classic – Nepal Airlines HS748!



Yeti Airlines Twin Otter being prepared for departure



We boarded quickly and soon the lone FA closed the aircraft door.

The Flight: One by one, the propellers turned on, and we began taxiing. We lined up and after a quick take-off roll, took off into the dull and cloudy sky. I started wondering how we would see the distant mountains in such dull weather.



I got my answer in less than five minutes, as we broke through the cloud layer and into some pristine sunshine. There was not even a speck of cloud at that height and the snowy Himalayas were presented to us in their full glory. A medley of oohs and aahs went around the plane along with clicks of more than a dozen cameras.



The FA came around and showed us the various Himalayan peaks.





She then invited people one by one to the cockpit to experience the vista from there. My turn came just as we were approaching Mt. Everest.

What a sight it was!



Views from the other side



As they say, all good things come to an end, and so did this flight. We banked, descended through the clouds and made a swift landing on Runway 02.

Another shot of the cabin.



As we exited the aircraft, the FA handed out flight certificates to each and every passenger stating that they have completed the flight as souvenirs for the flight. Awesome!



The views from the cruising height of 25000 ft are absolutely stunning, and clear. The mountain flight is a must for every aviation enthusiast visiting Nepal.

Flight Rating:

Ticket Price: 5/5

Punctuality: 3/5

Aircraft condition: 4/5

Cabin crew: 4/5

Food: N/A

Ground handling: 3/5

Overall (Average): 3.8

3) KTM-DEL

Reaching the airport: The hotel taxi took me to the airport in 20 minutes. There was a very slow moving queue for entering the terminal. It took me nearly 10 minutes to enter the terminal. After getting my bags screened, I proceeded to pay the departure tax (NPR 1356). The amount is NPR 1695 if you are visiting a non-SAARC country.

Check-In: Thankfully, there were only two people ahead of me in the check-in queue, and I managed to check-in within 10 minutes. Again, I could not get my message of an aisle seat in the second last row through to the check-in agent, and he assigned me seat 20C! Atleast it was an aisle seat  

After completing check-in, I filled up the Nepali departure card and passed through immigration. There are only a few duty-free shops at KTM, and they are nothing special. It’s the same stuff that you get at airports everywhere in the world. There were however a couple of shops selling Nepali souvenirs and picture postcards.


Sector: KTM-DEL
Airline: Nepal Airlines
Flight: RA 205
Aircraft: Boeing 757-2F8C
Registration: 9N-ACA 'Karnali'
Scheduled Departure: 0955 Actual Departure: 0955
Scheduled Arrival: 1110 Actual Arrival: 1145
Seat: 20B



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Boarding: After passing through security, I made my way to an overcrowded departure hall. There were passengers from two other flights apart from ours packed into the same room.



What added to the confusion was the lack of clear display screens and the fact that two of those three flights were headed to DEL. As a result, when the boarding for our flight was announced, passengers from a 9W flight to DEL, which was scheduled to leave at 0930, but was delayed by an hour, joined our queue.



There was a secondary ladder-point security check just before boarding the aircraft. I was greeted at the aircraft door by a smiling FA and I made my way through an already crowded aisle to my seat. It was quite obvious by now that we would have a sizeable load today. Sure enough, there were two more buses filled with people, which arrived in the next five minutes.

The Flight: The doors were closed at 0945, and we looked set for an on time departure. We were pushed back at 0953 – two minutes before time, and slowly we began our taxi towards Runway 02.

We waited at the end of the runway for our clearance, even as a Yeti Airlines Jetstream 41 landed. Even after five minutes, there was no sign of moving, and that is when I saw this!!!



Finally after nearly 20 minutes of waiting, we crawled on to the runway and backtracked till the very end. The engines were throttled up even as we were turning, and we rocketed down the runway and took off. The weather was quite clear and there was absolutely no turbulence.

The drink and breakfast service was started soon, and this time I opted for a vodka & orange juice along with a non-vegetarian breakfast. The drink was quite potent, and I had to go really slow on it to avoid getting a high early in the morning  



Unlike the flight into KTM, the load on this flight was almost 100% and the cabin crew did a good job in finishing the drink, breakfast and the tea/coffee service within 40-45 minutes.

The legroom:



As we flew over the city of Lucknow, the captain announced over the PA system that the delay in take-off at KTM was due to traffic congestion! I don’t know if one movement every three or four minutes is considered as congestion there!!!

The infamous north Indian haze was everywhere as we began our descent into DEL. I couldn’t see anything below, but was trying to make out our heading by looking at the position of the sun. Finally, at 1140, we made a swift landing on the new Runway 11 (11/29) from the Dwarka side. As we taxied towards the terminal, a Finnair MD-11 taxied out towards Runway 10.

That was the end of the flight, I thought but it wasn’t meant to be. Most of the passengers with their hand bags waited in the aisle, but the aircraft doors never opened. After nearly ten minutes, the captain announced that there was a problem with the aerobridge and he requested the passengers to return to their seats. Finally, after a wait of nearly 20 minutes, the aerobridge was fixed, and the passengers made their way out.



I was one of the last ones to leave, after clicking a mandatory parting shot of the cabin  



Our aircraft parked at the gate:



The arrivals area at DEL:



Flight Rating:

Ticket Price: 4/5

Punctuality: 4/5

Aircraft condition: 3/5

Cabin crew: 4/5

Food: 3/5

Ground handling: 4/5

Overall (Average): 3.67

Thus ended an action packed five day voyage to Nepal. Hope you guys enjoyed reading the trip report.

- Vivek

[Edited 2008-12-08 08:40:54]
 
justbala
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:15 pm

Nice TR, Vivek. Would luv to try the Everest Experience flight some day.. havent seen the pics yet (my office n/w very successfully blocks them!!). What was the pricing of the flight compared to 9W and IC?!
Flown IC , 9W , SQ , SV , GF , S2 , LX , IT , LH , OS , DN , AC , MH , 6E , MI , AA , TG , EK , QR , SG , TK , KW, UA ,
 
Nimish
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:15 pm

Great report Vivek - thanks for posting!

Those pictures of the Mt. Everest had me surprised, I was expecting to see a single peak stretching high up to the skies! Excellent pictures though  Smile
Incredible India!
 
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OA260
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:18 pm

Hi Great report and really interesting. I love the old style J class cabin and the pictures faintly on the wall . Food looks nice also , cant go wrong with curry IMHO.

Would love to visit Nepal one day .

Thanks for the report.

OA260
 
henkybaby
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:05 pm

Wow! Interesting report. Like the pictures a lot, especially the ones taken on the Buddha Air flight. Would love to visit the Andes some day soon.
Wherever you go, there you are!
 
semsem
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:44 pm

If I am correct Yeti Air had a crash recently. Food looks good. Interesting to read. Now that things seem to have calmed down in Nepal would like to visit. Thanks.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:14 am

Fantastic TR Vivek.
I especially liked those rare Airlines & Aircraft images.
Def one of the best T/Rs on Anet.
cheers.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
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vivekman2006
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:39 pm



Quoting Justbala (Reply 1):
What was the pricing of the flight compared to 9W and IC?!

Thanks Bala! The RA ticket was priced more or less similar to IC, but way cheaper than 9W.

Quoting Nimish (Reply 2):
Great report Vivek - thanks for posting!

Thanks Nimish!

Quoting Oa260 (Reply 3):
Would love to visit Nepal one day .
Thanks for the report.

Thanks Oa260. Yes, Nepal is a must visit place for an aviation enthusiast.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 5):
If I am correct Yeti Air had a crash recently.

Yep. A Yeti Airlines Twin Otter crashed while landing at Lukla airport.

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 6):
Fantastic TR Vivek.

Thanks Mel!

- Vivek
 
UK_Dispatcher
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:13 am

Nice report and pics. I too experienced a Buddha Air Beech 1900D on one of the Everest flights last year - it was well worth it.

Good to see a Nepal Airlines report too. Myself and a fellow enthusiast were in KTM on 06DEC. We flew in from DAC on a Biman DC-10 and left to Bahrain on Gulf Air later. We were on standby for GF and the flight was full but luckily we got accepted. Our second option was to purchase tickets on Nepal Airlines to DXB - looks like the experience would have been quite acceptable from your report.

Quoting Henkybaby (Reply 4):
Wow! Interesting report. Like the pictures a lot, especially the ones taken on the Buddha Air flight. Would love to visit the Andes some day soon.

You mean the Himalayas, right?!
 
DALCE
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:07 pm

Hi Vivek,

What a stunning report!
As a dutchman I'm used to no mountains whatsoever, and then the sighting of the Himalayas just stuns me! Great!
Also a report on Nepal Airlines is quite rare, so very interesting!
Thanks for sharing!

Joost (D-ALCE)
flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,77W,788,319,320,321,333,AB6.
 
gte439u
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:31 pm

I love the photo of the dog on the runway or taxiway!
 
ojas
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:02 pm

Excellent TR Vivek!

The pics were truly amazing and watching the Himalayas must surely have been an awesome experience. The food on RA looked good as well., also KTM seems pretty 'congested' airport LOL.


Great job done.
Great leaders don't tell you what to do ... they show you how it's done!
 
MHTripple7
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:04 pm

Excellent TR! I don't think I've ever seen one covering this route or RA. I will be flying DEL-KTM-PBH on KB in about 2 and a half weeks and I'll be a doing a TR on it as well.
 
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vivekman2006
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:23 am



Quoting UK_Dispatcher (Reply 8):
Nice report and pics. I too experienced a Buddha Air Beech 1900D on one of the Everest flights last year - it was well worth it.

Thank you! Yep, the Mountain Flight sure is worth every penny. A must-do for every aviation enthusiast!  Smile

Quoting UK_Dispatcher (Reply 8):
Good to see a Nepal Airlines report too. Myself and a fellow enthusiast were in KTM on 06DEC.

Oh! So we missed running into each other by a couple of weeks!!  Wink

Quoting DALCE (Reply 9):
Hi Vivek,
What a stunning report!

Thank you Joost!

Quoting Gte439u (Reply 10):
I love the photo of the dog on the runway or taxiway!

Hehe...The dog was on the runway and was moving around quite coolly. I was shocked to see it moving around right where aircraft touch down!  Wow!

Quoting Ojas (Reply 11):
Excellent TR Vivek!

also KTM seems pretty 'congested' airport LOL.

Thanks Ojas. Yes, it was "congested" Big grin But really nice traffic there.....

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 12):
Excellent TR! I don't think I've ever seen one covering this route or RA. I will be flying DEL-KTM-PBH on KB in about 2 and a half weeks and I'll be a doing a TR on it as well.

Thanks MHTripple7! Wow - Druk Air!! That will be another first I think. All the best for your trip, and waiting to see your trip report  Smile

P.S. While flying from DEL to KTM, ask for seats on the left side of the aircraft (seat A). This will give you a fabulous view of the Himalayan peaks.  bigthumbsup 

- Vivek
 
ba319-131
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:58 pm

Hi Vivek,

Great report and pictures, the scenery is just stunning, must have felt amazing to be there.

I note that you manage to fly the ENTIRE fleet of Nepal Airlines 757's, well done  Smile

Look forward to more TR's.

Regards

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
MHTripple7
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:07 am



Quoting Vivekman2006 (Reply 13):
Thanks MHTripple7! Wow - Druk Air!! That will be another first I think. All the best for your trip, and waiting to see your trip report Smile

P.S. While flying from DEL to KTM, ask for seats on the left side of the aircraft (seat A). This will give you a fabulous view of the Himalayan peaks. bigthumbsup

Thanks for the advice! I will definitely try to get on the left side and try to get some cool pix of the Himalayas.
 
sq_ek_freak
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:31 am

Great report! How did you find the RA crew? It's been a long time since I last flew RA (HKG-KTM-HKG) but I remember the experience was great, the crews were awesome, the food was delicious even if the hardware had nothing to offer at all.
Keep Discovering
 
ronerone
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:38 pm

Hi Vivek!

a very interesting, and rare report!

The food looked so good on your flights! And the scenery was breathtaking!

Thanks a lot for sharing.

Regards,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
PP705
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:53 pm

Namaste Vivek
Nice TR. One of the more exciting ones on this site I must say.......especially the Buddha Air one. DEL terminal seems to be changing for the good. How is the atmosphere in Nepal towards Indians, especially since the change of government there?
BOM...call it a dump.....but it's changing.....
 
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vivekman2006
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:31 am



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
Hi Vivek,
Great report and pictures, the scenery is just stunning, must have felt amazing to be there.

Thanks a lot, Mark!  Smile

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
I note that you manage to fly the ENTIRE fleet of Nepal Airlines 757's, well done

Hehehe, yes....A statistic I can be proud of  Wink

Quoting SQ_EK_freak (Reply 16):
Great report! How did you find the RA crew?

Thanks so much! The RA crew was pretty friendly, and most of them had a smile on their face always. A couple of them chatted up with me while de-planing at DEL, and were quite happy when I told them that I was going to write a Trip Report.  Smile

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 17):
Hi Vivek!
a very interesting, and rare report!

Thanks Roni! Yes, RA is one of the least reported airlines in the world....

Quoting PP705 (Reply 18):
Namaste Vivek
Nice TR. One of the more exciting ones on this site I must say.......especially the Buddha Air one. DEL terminal seems to be changing for the good. How is the atmosphere in Nepal towards Indians, especially since the change of government there?

Namaste! DEL and BOM both are changing for the better. The upcoming Terminal 3 at DEL is massive.

There is no change in the atmosphere in Nepal at all. The general population is as friendly towards Indians as ever.
 
9w748capt
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:04 pm

What a great TR! Always cool to see airlines/routes/destinations that are not-so-frequently covered. Had no idea visiting Nepal was this easy - I will definitely have to look into that next time I go to India. Thanks for posting!
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:17 am



Quoting SQ_EK_freak (Reply 16):
How did you find the RA crew

A few ex RA crew are flying with us....All fantastic people.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
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vivekman2006
Posts: 400
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:32 am



Quoting 9W748Capt (Reply 20):
What a great TR! Always cool to see airlines/routes/destinations that are not-so-frequently covered. Had no idea visiting Nepal was this easy - I will definitely have to look into that next time I go to India. Thanks for posting!

Thanks for your kind comments! Nepal is definitely an aviation enthusiast's paradise  Smile

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 21):
A few ex RA crew are flying with us....All fantastic people.

Interesting! So these must be the 757 pilots, correct?

- Vivek
 
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yowza
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:48 pm

Good work Vivek! It's good to see the country of my ancestry on A.net from time to time. You have inspire me to file a Myanmar trip report of my own. Coming soon!

YOWza
 
fatmirjusufi
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pi

Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:58 pm

Vivek it was really great report and trip also.  Wink
Also liked the airline name Buddha Air.
DO FLIGHTS. NOT FIGHTS.
 
timb777
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:34 am

 
MSS658
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:36 am

Hi


Great and interesting trip report you have there. I'm stunned by the scenery on your Buddha air flight. Nepal airlines looks decent as well.


Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
MEA-707
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:53 am

Quoting timb777 (Reply 25):
I hope this this wasn't your 1900D! :

Nope, the crashed Beech was the 9N-AEK, Vivek flew on the 9N-AEW. Still it's a sobering thought that people having a similar experience perish afterwards.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
MIAspotter
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:27 pm

Quoting Henkybaby (Reply 4):
visit the Andes some day soon.

Geography FAIL   

Interesting report and insight into a place not widely covered here.

RA seems like a decent airline, I have a friend who is going there soon, but I think he is flying another airline into KTM, I will recomend him to take one of the scenic flights.

And I hope to someday be able to visit Nepal as well!

MIAspotter.
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
Flightsimboy
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:54 pm

Sad that the scenic flight you took in Aug, suffered a tragic accident recently. It must be quite tragic to know a flight you experience perished.

A great insight into both airlines, especially Nepal Airlines which seems to be pretty good.

Quoting Vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
For Indians, visiting Nepal is absolutely hassle-free as you do not need a passport or a visa (only an identification document), and Indian currency is accepted as legal tender!

This must encourage indians to travel to Nepal quite a bit. Also do Nepalese speak Urdu or Hindi? I've seen Nepalese speaking Urdu/Hindi in Dubai, but was not sure what it actually was.

Quoting Vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
The boarding pass itself was hand-written with only the flight number and destination stamped on using a rubber stamp!

Why such manual procedures at a modern airport like DEL?

Quoting Vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
As it was a short flight, the drink and lunch service was combined. Even then, the collection of drinks – alcoholic and otherwise was quite decent. I chose a Heineken beer to go with my non-vegetarian meal.

That was quite a decent meal and some Heineken to go with it! Seriously there are some airlines where being served food is now a luxury only available up front!!

Quoting Vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
Background: I had heard and read a lot about the mountain sight-seeing flights in Nepal. I decided to experience one of these and booked myself on Buddha Air’s “Everest Experience” flight leaving KTM at 0730.

Glad you could document it here!! The views of the Himalayas are indeed magnificent. Nothing like experiencing that mountain splendour from so close!!!!

Quoting Vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
The drink and breakfast service was started soon, and this time I opted for a vodka & orange juice along with a non-vegetarian breakfast. The drink was quite potent, and I had to go really slow on it to avoid getting a high early in the morning

Again not a bad looking meal. Was that tandoori chicken for breakfast!! Looks like Amul butter is quite popular as it is both photos.

Quoting Vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
Unlike the flight into KTM, the load on this flight was almost 100% and the cabin crew did a good job in finishing the drink, breakfast and the tea/coffee service within 40-45 minutes.

Great cabin crew are found anywhere and sometimes in places you would not expect them to be lol.
 
lukeyboy95
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:53 pm

Good to see a TR about this interesting airline.

Food looked very old school, and really rather nice!

Beautiful photos of the 'hills!"
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
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vivekman2006
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:11 am

Thanks timb777, MSS658, MEA-707, MIAspotter, flightsimboy & lukeyboy95.

I was surprised to see replies and comments to this nearly two year old report!  

Yes, I was quite shocked and saddened to hear about the recent Buddha Air B1900D crash. The first thing I searched was the registration and it was 9N-AEK as MEA-707 pointed out.

However the reports mention that the FO was a lady named Padma Adhikari. As you can see from my photos above, the FO on our flight was also a lady. Hope it was not the same person. It really gives me the creeps since I have been there!

RIP to all those who perished. 

- Vivek
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Voyage To Nepal: Nepal Airlines/Buddha Air (Pics)

Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:57 am

Quoting Vivekman2006 (Reply 22):

Interesting! So these must be the 757 pilots, correct?

Thats correct on the B752s.
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