Domestic flights show encouraging signs, international ones lag behind

10 November 2020, Kathmandu

Domestic flights marred by the global COVID-19 pandemic have seen an encouraging result following the resumption of flights after a halt due to the infection.

However, international flights lag behind.

Festivals like Dashain, Tihar, and Chhath are responsible for increasing passengers in domestic flights, said the Tribhuvan International Airport office.

The respective country banning flights from Nepal and a halt to flights to some countries including India are to blame for the decrement in international flights, said the airport’s Director General Devendra KC.

The airport witnessed 70 to 80 percent domestic flights and only 20 percent international flights, he said. Domestic aircraft having ‘good’ occupancy has added to the best result of domestic flights. Some private leading airlines like Buddha Air, Yeti Air and Shree Air among others have satisfactory occupancy, it has been said.

Buddha Air has around 90 percent occupancy in its flights after Dashain and is believed it would be increased gradually. The company has now been flying 3,500 passengers every day.

Similarly, there is 85 to 90 percent occupancy in the flights of Yeti Airlines. Air Security Chief and Spokesperson of Yeti Airlines, Sudarshan Bartaula, said that domestic flights are now exciting due to festivals.

Many people are choosing air service due to cheap airfare. Air service has to become the first choice of the people as there is a risk of being infected with coronavirus in long travel during coronavirus pandemic.

Airline companies have been relieved as a large number of people in a group as well as individuals reach different tourism destinations as this is the tourism season. Similarly, a large number of tourists have headed for trekking, mountaineering as well as visiting different tourists.

Airlines companies have been operating safe flights by fully adopting health criteria set by the government of Nepal and the World Health Organization for safe flights being safe from the coronavirus pandemic.

Nineteen airline companies including 10 helicopters have been making domestic flights while thirty airline companies including three Nepali companies make international flights.

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