HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Most of the domestic airline companies are planning
to add non-scheduled flights to meet the high passenger traffic during the festive season.
“We normally have 90 per cent load for domestic flights, therefore to facilitate passengers during Dashain, we are going to operate flights for 11 hours,” said director commercial of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) Madan Kharel. The airline flies to 25 destinations.
“We have already decided to add 30 extra flights from October 13–24,” said Kharel. With only two aircraft, Nepal Airlines Corporation has a total of 78 scheduled flights to its 25 destinations. For the festival season, NAC will make a total of 108 flights.
“We have also alerted engineers about the flight pressure so that they are ready for any emergency maintenance,” Kharel said.
Meanwhile, Buddha Air has already added one extra flight to Bhadrapur and is planning to increase its flights to Biratnagar shortly. “We have daily domestic flights but during the festival season there are no seats available,” said executive manager of Buddha Air Rupesh Joshi.
Buddha Air has a total of nine aircraft, that are ATR–72, ATR-42 and Beechcraft. “Currently, we don’t have any seat vacant as all have been booked, therefore we are planning to add extra flights for the required destinations,” said Joshi.
According to manager of Yeti Airline Ankur Rana, the airlines has no passenger pressure till now. However, there have been a number of enquires for discounts and offers. Yeti
Air has a total of 40 to 45 flights in a day to Biratnagar, Bhairahawa, Bhadrapur, Tumlingtar, Dhangadi, Nepalgunj and Pokhara.
“We mostly have passenger pressure to Tumlingtar and Bhadrapur,” said Rana.
Along with the domestic airlines, Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) is also planning for a round-the-clock operation to manage the growing passenger traffic.
According to officials at the airport, there generally is a huge crowd at the airport during holidays as there are extra flights.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), air traffic has increased by 500 per cent in 20 years, but the physical infrastructure of the aviation sector has failed to develop as compared to the growth rate of the airlines and the traffic.
CAAN is also preparing to expand the domestic terminal to manage the growing traffic.