KATHMANDU, April 24: Air passengers flying to New Delhi or vice versa will have to face problem due to shortage of tickets for at least a few days as airlines operating on the route have said that they cannot increase flight frequency immediately.
Flight ticket prices on the route have skyrocketed after Indian carrier Jet Airways ceased operations a few days ago amid financial woes.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) on Sunday invited representatives of Indigo Air, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), and Air India to discuss the possibility of increasing flight frequency on the route immediately. In the meeting, NAC agreed to add three flights a week on the sector. But it has not fixed the dates. NAC is currently flying 11 times a week on the route.
Rajan Pokharel, deputy director general of CAAN, told Republica that the NAC has expressed commitment to add three flights on the route. “It may take some time as the Delhi Airport needs to manage slots for NAC's new flights," he added.
While Indian flag-bearer Air India said it won't be able to increase flight frequency, privately-owned Indian carrier, Indigo Air, said that it will have some more flights on the route in the coming few months.
"Indigo Air has applied to us to add two flights daily to New Delhi. We are thinking of allowing it," added Pokharel.
But the Indian carrier will be able to add flights after June 5 only if things go as planned. Indigo is operating one flight per day on the route.
CAAN officials say the NAC's flights by Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft will provide some relief to passengers.
According to officials, another Indian carrier SpiceJet, which does not fly on Delhi-Kathmandu route, has also showed interest to fly to Kathmandu. "But it has not officially applied for the route," added Pokharel.
CAAN's Director General Sanjiv Gautam also said that his office has requested Indian aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, to facilitate operation of more flights on Delhi-Kathmandu sector to fill the vacuum created after Jet Airways ceased operations.