KATHMANDU, Jan 13: Domestic passenger movement has been increasing remarkably in recent years, while travelling by road is full of hassles across the country.
Besides the domestic terminal of Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, the largest number of domestic traveler movement is seen at Pokhara airport.
According to the Civil Aviation Report - 2017 published by Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Pokhara airport has become the airport to witness largest number of passenger movement in the first 10 months of 2017. However in the same period of 2016, Biratnagar airport had seen the largest number of passenger movement.
Passenger movement in Pokhara airport reached 373,403 in this period, which was an increase by 32 percent compared to the previous year’s data. In the first 10 months of 2016, passenger movement in Pokhara airport had stood at 253,873.
Biratnagar airport has become second this year with the movement of 371,042 passengers, while the number had stood at 312,897 in 2016. Meanwhile, Nepalgunj airport has become third with 307,829 passengers, followed by Gautam Buddha airport (242,343), Chandragadhi airport (159,388), and Bharatpur airport (136,121). Likewise, Simara airport, Janakpur airport, Surkhet airport, and Tumlingtar airport were in seventh to 10th position with 88,771, 55,037, 37,015, and 28,477 passengers respectively.
The CAAN report has categorized Biratnagar airport, Gautam Buddha airport, Nepalgunj airport, and Pokhara airport as hub airports. The CAAN data shows that between January and October in 2017, domestic passenger movement had increased by 41.14 percent compared to the same period in 2016.
According to CAAN, the total number of domestic passengers reached 3.2 million in those 10 months, while the number stood at 2.3 million in the same period last year.
Along with the increasing passenger movement, domestic aircraft movement has also increased by 22.12 percent. The report said that the total number of aircraft movement was 59,063 in the first 10 months of 2016 while the number reached 75,839 in the same period of 2017.
Government-owned Nepal Airlines Corporation along with eight private airlines -- Yeti Airlines, Buddha Air, Sita Air, Simrik Airlines, Tara Air, Shree Airlines, Summit Air, and Saurya Airlines -- are currently operating domestic flights in Nepal.