Inauguration ceremony of the first aircraft L410 that was delivered to Nepal was held on October 11, 2014. The ceremonial was attended by the Ambassador of the Czech Republic H.E. Mr. Miloslav Stašek, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic Mr. Vishnu Kumar Agarwal, representatives of the Nepalese Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Sales Director of Czech Aircraft Industries a.s. (Let Kunovice) Mr. Miloslav Kožíšek and top management of GOMA Air. Successful delivery of the first plane L410 significantly increases the opportunity of Let Kunovice to score on other markets in South Asia.
Two years of vigorous joint efforts of Let Kunovice, Czech Embassy in New Delhi, Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Kathmandu, ČEB and GOMA Air the first plane L 410UVP E20 (L 410) landed in Nepal on October 9, 2014. The aircraft was purchased by the Nepalese private company GOMA Air to transport tourists on domestic flights, especially on flights to Lukla and Jomsom. L410 plane falls under STOL aircraft category (short take-off and landing) and therefore meets strict requirements of Nepal Aviation Authority to be allowed to operate on extremely short airports in Nepal.
The festive handover took place at the international airport in Kathmandu on October 11, 2014, and the ceremony was attended by Ambassador of the Czech Republic M. Stašek, Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in Nepal Mr. Vishnu Kumar Agarwal, the Nepalese Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Sales Director of Let Kunovice Mr. Miloslav Kožíšek and top management of GOMA Air represented by Mr. Manoj Karki. The demonstration of the aircraft was followed by a joint press conference where the Director of GOMA Air Mr. Manoj Karki announced plans to purchase two more planes L 410 during year 2015.
Over the past thirty years L410 is the first new plane which was sold to Nepal thanks to significant contribution to funding by the Czech Export Bank. Domestic carriers have so far bought used aircraft type Twin Otter and Dornier 228 which have recently faced number of technical problems that have also led to several tragic accidents. L410 represents not only a significant increase in comfort for passengers, but especially dramatic increase in security of tourists travelling to the main tourist centers in Nepal. GOMA Air furthermore notified the intention to acquire additional aircraft from the Czech Republic and this way threw an imaginary glove to other Nepalese tourist opeators that will have to sooner or later agree to modernize their fleet provided they do not want to let go their position on the market. Representatives of most of the other companies (SITA Air or YETI Air) were together with the main tour operators invited to the evening reception where L 410 was presented by specialists. During the presentation all of these companies showed interest in opening negotiations with LET Kunovice about buying L 410 planes.
In terms of air traffic safety L410 will cover the most difficult lines Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu and Jomsom. In the future L 410 aircraft is also planned to commence flights to Pokhara, Jumla, Simikot, Dolpa, Bajura and Rara. The first flight took place after the completion of registration formalities of the aircraft on October 15, 2014.
Representative of GOMA Air Mr. Manoj Karki is coming to Prague in the last week of October 2014 to conclude purchase of the second aircraft L 410 that is to be delivered in late January or in February 2015. Moreover, the third aircraft is to be delivered in the second half of 2015. Purchase of L410 is also considered by Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and other government organizations. The success of L410 in very complicated and difficult conditions of Nepal Himalayas gives great chances to Let Kunovice of succeed even in neighboring countries.
Presentation of L 410 aircraft in Kathmandu was attended by representatives of two private Indian companies that have expressed interest in the buying four planes in 2015.
Sale and delivery of the first aircraft L 410 to Nepal is a great achievement for Aircraft Industries. The company has now a great chance to deliver to Nepal at least a further 15 aircraft over the next 3-5 years. Success in Nepal opens doors for delivery of L 410 also to neighboring countries. Another important step will be the delivery of three L410 for the Air Force of Bangladesh in March 2015. Two Indian companies entered into negotiations for the purchase of four L410 and the delivery can also be completed in 2015. For the same year advanced negotiations with the Government of Sri Lanka and Bhutan for the purchase of L410 are also planned. Delivery of the aircraft to Nepal received great interest of local media and GOMA Air also published a half page ad for L 410 in all the main newspapers in Nepal.