Airlines moved their aircraft to more profitable routes after Tihar
KOHALPUR, Nov 1: Passengers are at the receiving end as many airline companies have stopped flying to Karnali zone after the Tihar festival.
Only one aircraft of Tara Air is operating flight to five airstrips of Karnali zone from Nepalgunj-based Ranjha Airport at present. Since only one aircraft is operating flights to Karnali, many government employees returning back to Karnali after the Tihar festival are stranded in Nepalgunj. Similarly, people of remote hilly districts are not getting flights to travel to Nepalgunj and other parts of the country.
Until Tihar festival, Summit Air, Sita Air, Simrik Airlines, Makalu Air and Air Kasthamandap were operating flights to Humla, Dolpa, Mugu, Jumla and Bajura from Nepalgunj. Now, these aircraft are operating flight to more profitable routes like Jomsom from Pokhara. This means only one aircraft is left to serve people of Karnali.
Luharni Budha of Lali-1 in Humla said that she is waiting for the flight for about a week“ "I came to Nepalgunj before Tihar for the treatment of my 15-month old grandson. Now, I am not getting flight to return to home”," she said, adding that extended stay in Nepalgunj is costing her Rs 1,000 per day.
Passengers like Budha reach the airport morning in the hope that they would get a flight to travel to their respective districts. But they have to return empty-handed every day.“
"Every day we get a lot of people asking for air tickets. But we have no option but to return them empty-handed as only one aircraft is serving five destinations of Karnali region now," Bishnu Rawat of Dolpo Tour and Travels sai“. "Many passengers, who had made advance booking with airlines except Tara Air, are facing trouble."
According to Rawat, Nepal Airlines flies twice a week to Karnali from Nepalgunj“. "But the flights are not regular," he added.
For the Dashain and Tihar festival, airline companies were operating as many as nine flights a day to Karnali from Nepalgunj. Tara, Summit Air and Simrik Air had operated three aircraft each to operate flights to Karnali. But the airlines have not moved the aircraft to Kathmandu to serve more profitable routes“
"At present, our aircraft is operating fight flights to Karnali every day. But the demand is very high. As we are the only airline operating to Karnali at present, it is very difficult to handle the pressure," Dilip Karki, in-charge of Tara Air for Nepalgunj airport, told Republica.
Tara Air is operating one flight each to Humla, Dolpa, Mugu, Jumla and Bajura every day.
Pratap Babu Tiwari, chief of Civil Aviation Office, Nepalgunj, said that the office was facing difficulty in handling passengers as only one aircraft is operating flights to Karnali at presen“. "We have requested Summit Air and Sita Air to operate scheduled flights to Karnali," Tiwari added.