KATHMANDU, August 24: Passengers have started booking air tickets for Dashain even though the festival is still about a month away.
Domestic airlines generally open advance bookings for the Dashain festival from mid-August. Such is the demand for air seats during the festival that flights to some destinations are already fully booked.
People choose to reserve air seats in advance to avoid setback as it is very difficult to get tickets to travel during the Dashain festival.
Binita Thapa, marketing manager of Buddha Air, said that the airline has already received bookings for about 40 percent of the tickets available during Dashain festival. “All our flights to Tumulingtar during Dashain have already been sold out,” she added.
Likewise, Yeti Airlines has also stated that all its tickets to Tumlingtar have been sold out. Bhimraj Rai, media manager of Yeti Airlines, said it would now be very difficult to arrange tickets for Tumlingtar during Dashain festival. “Around 50 percent of tickets in all routes have already been booked,” he added.
Rai also said that the carrier has received booking on normal fare. “But if there is pressure for more seats, we might have to raise fare. It all depends on demand and supply situation,” he added. “We are even planning to add extra flights for the festive season.”
Saurya Airlines, another domestic carrier, opened booking for the Dashain festival from the third week of August. “Booking of air seats is increasing with every passing day. Advance bookings for Biratnagar and Bhadrapur are high compared to other destination,” an official of Saurya Airlines told Republica. The official said that the airfare could up slightly during the festive season.
Though domestic airlines are already accepting bookings for the festive season, the state-owned Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is still to open advance bookings. Rabindra Shrestha, the spokesperson for NAC, said that he cannot tell when the NAC will open advance bookings for the Dashain festival.