Nepal Airlines seeks restoration of 4 flights per week on Kathmandu-Delhi sector

Nepal’s flag carrier, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), has stated that they have faced significant losses in revenue as the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) decided to cut its lucrative Kathmandu-Delhi sector flights from 14 to 10 per week for not utilizing the newly-opened Gautam Buddha International Airport, news agency PTI reported.

NAC has urged CAAN to reconsider their decision and let the commercial flight company operate 14 flights on the Kathmandu-Delhi sector. NAC also cited the need to bear the additional cost of rerouting passengers after CAAN slashed the number of flights to Delhi from the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Nepal’s first international airport, the PTI report stated.

CAAN reduced the number of flights to Delhi from TIA to 10 from 14 per week from 30 October. The Gautam Buddha International Airport is 300km west of Kathmandu, the country’s capital.

The reduction of four flights per week during the peak season has caused a weekly loss of around 90.5 million to the national flag carrier, The Himalayan Times newspaper reported, quoting an NAC official.

“We’d been operating two Kathmandu-Delhi flights per day at near full occupancy, which was one of the major income sources for NAC,” the official said.

The official termed the aviation authority’s move to reduce NAC’s historical slots in the Kathmandu-Delhi sector as a ‘forceful and unilateral decision’, according to the report.

In a bid to reduce air traffic at the TIA and for effective utilization of the Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA), the second international airport of Nepal, the CAAN reduced the number of Nepal Airlines’ flights in the Kathmandu-Delhi sector to 10 per week from 14 earlier since 30 October.

CAAN’s Information Officer Gyanendra Bhul, however, said that the authority was compelled to reduce NAC’s flights to Delhi as the corporation was dilly-dallying in operating the flights from GBIA.

“We are asking the CAAN for permission to operate four additional flights for connecting Delhi,” PTI quoted Archana Khadka, spokesperson of Nepal Airlines.

The flights in the Kathmandu-Delhi sector are important for Nepalis seeking medical treatment and students going for higher studies in India, as well as business promotion and connection to third countries, she pointed out.

As per schedule, Nepal Airlines will fly four flights per week from Kathmandu to Delhi and from Delhi to Kathmandu via the Gautam Buddha International Airport, she added.

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