Nepflights.com is an online flight booking portal. It was established in 2014 with an intention of helping travelers with online ticketing and booking of flights all over Nepal. It offers flight information in a well-integrated and easy-to-use format, in which travelers can compare airfares, and buy and book air tickets of six domestic carriers. Manish Amgain, co-founder of nepflights.com, talks to Republica’s Prasansha Rimal about the company and difficulties faced by e-commerce businesses in Nepal.
How did you come up with the idea of nepflights.com?
This was a few years ago when I had to visit Chitwan all of a sudden. I had to take a direct flight to Bharatpur, but had no idea how to book a flight. I didn’t even know about the flight schedules. Calling airlines was just a waste of time since their phone lines are always busy. This made me realize about the cumbersome process of booking flights in Nepal. And, this was what prompted me, and my friends, to start a venture that would make flight booking easier.
What’s your vision?
Our main vision is to create an online travel portal which had all the information required for a person to travel. Our website doesn’t only contain flight details, but also information on various activities that take place in the destination an individual is visiting. We want people to have all the information and make sure the information is transparent. This eliminates any possible hassles one has to go through while booking a flight. We are also planning launch hotel booking service, in near future.
How often do Nepali travelers book their flights online?
International tourists make more bookings from our website through online payment systems. People in Nepal aren’t much familiar with online payment systems and still feel insecure. Considering this, we also have cash-on-delivery option.
How can one book flights through the website?
Booking flights through our website is easy. First you need to go the website, specify your destination and fill all the details required for the flight. According to the information the user has provided, the flight details will be listed on the user’s computer screen. They can sort the flights according to flight schedule and price. After booking a flight, payment options will appear on the screen and the user can pay according to his/her convenience.
Was it difficult to forge business agreement with airlines?
Yes, it was. First they were not convinced. We then took a reputed travel company on board, which helped us convince the airlines.
How is the future of online business in Nepal?
Given we have a small market, it’s easy to meet customers’ demand. But due to the lack of customers’ trust in online payment systems, it’s still difficult to run a proper online business in Nepal. However, as people start to get the hang of online payment systems, I see a bright future for online businesses.