KATHMANDU, Jan 8: After repeated follow up, Malaysia-based Air Asia X has paid Rs 20 million of the total Rs 230 million it owes to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) in various services including passengers service charge, airport development fee, landing, parking and the fees involving the use of navigational equipment.
Various airline companies have started paying their dues to the CAAN after the aviation regulatory body in Nepal formed a probe committee to investigate into the due amount owed by various airlines and started follow up repeatedly in the cases to settle their due amount. The CAAN had sent a letter to Air Asia X, warning to halt its flights to Nepal, if it did not settle the Rs 230 million due by January 7.
“The airline's Kathmandu-based office and its headquarters in Malaysia ignored our letter that warned of halting its flights to Kathmandu from January 7 for over two weeks,” said a senior official at the Tribhuvan International Airport. “But all of a sudden on Sunday, the airline paid Rs 20 million and has informed us to pay additional Rs 110 million on Monday.”
According to the official, the due amount arrived from Air Asia X's headquarters based in Malaysia. The airlines has pledged to settle the remaining amount on installment basis.
The General Sales Agent of the airline in Kathmandu is Incentives Tours and Travel Company. The owner of the company Hari Man Lama has gone out of contact after CAAN started follow up for settling the huge due amount.
TIA had published a public notice to settle the due amount after investigating into the due amount various airlines owed to CAAN that handles TIA. The airport authorities then issued letter to all those airlines to settle their dues, warning that their flights would be halted if the dues were not cleared by January 7.
Around two dozen airlines paid over Rs 568.7 million within the set deadline. CAAN is yet to recover over Rs 1.35 billion from various airlines for various services including passenger service charge, air development fee, landing, parking and the fees involving the use of navigational equipment.
Among the domestic airlines, Simrik Airlines and Sourya Airlines owe huge amount to CAAN. Officials said both the airlines have sent commitment letters with their plan of payment to CAAN after the warning letter from TIA.
CAAN had formed a probe committee led by its Deputy Director General Birendra Shrestha to find out the reason behind the delay in payment. In a report submitted to CAAN Director General Sanjiv Gautam, the committee had recommended to TIA to suspend the operation of the concerned airlines if they failed to pay the overdue amount within mid-December.