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Tara Air conducts successful test flight at Ilam’s Sukilumba Airport

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ILAM — Tara Air has successfully conducted test light at Falgunanda Sukilumba Airport in Ilam, on Monday after sixteen years since the process began for its construction.

The 19-seater Twin Otter aircraft belonging to Tara Air bound for Ilam from Kathmandu touched down the airport around 11:57 am Monday morning.

The plane took at least one hour and two minutes to reach the Sukilumba Airport in Ilam from Kathmandu, according Tara Air.

Former Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal had laid the foundation stone for the construction in March 27, 2011, around 10 years after the process had begun.

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The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is planning to blacktop the gravel runway in the next fiscal year. According to CAAN, Rs 180 million has been spent for the construction of the airport so far. Rs 170 million was allotted for the construction of the runway and roadway in lower level of the airport in the current fiscal year.

CAAN estimates that Rs 150 million would be required for blacktopping the runway along with sewer construction.

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Tourist arrivals jumped 73.5 percent in July

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KATHMANDU — Tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped 73.5 percent in the month of July, according to statistics released by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).

The NTB said that this increment is because of a sharp increase in the number of travellers from countries like India, China, the US and the UK. The growth in the numbers has also been attributed to Indian pilgrims visiting Mount Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet, via Nepal.

The statistics show that Nepal received a whopping 73,285 international tourists in July—a time of the year that is considered to be an off-season for tourists due to the monsoons. With July’s figures, the number of foreign tourists visiting Nepal in the first seven months (January–July) of 2018 reached 593,299, which is an increase of 18 percent as compared to the same period last year.

Total 18,385 Indian tourists visited Nepal via air transport, which is up 80.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

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After India, Nepal received the highest number of visitors from China. The Chinese tourist numbers have more than doubled to 13,123 in the month of July. This is a 125.4 percent growth in comparison to the arrivals in the same month last year.

Overall arrivals from SAARC countries registered a growth of 66 percent, in comparison to the same month last year. However, arrivals from Bangladesh declined by nine percent. Arrivals from rest of the Asian countries have also recorded a robust growth of 86.2 percent.

Visitors from Japan and South Korea to Nepal also increased by 36 percent and 21.9 percent respectively.

Likewise, an overall increase of 54.1 percent in July has been recorded from European source markets. However, arrivals from Austria declined by 72.6 percent.

The number of visitors from the US and Canada have also grown by 79.6 percent and 73.3 percent respectively.

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