KATHMANDU, Dec 1: Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Civil Aviation Office has issued a public notice, asking over two dozen international airlines and other businesses operating on the airport premises to pay their settle all their outstanding dues within mid-December.
The public notice was issued as per the direction of a probe panel formed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
“TIA management, which was asked to provide us details of dues that international airlines owe to it, despite our order,” Birendra Prasad Shrestha, coordinator of the probe committee, said. “We will prepare our investigation report next week.”
Two days after Republica carried news about dues to be recovered from international airlines, Board of Airline Representatives in Nepal (BARN) - a representative body of international airlines operating in Nepal -- had issued a statement, refuting the news report. Republica had requested BARN to provide details of payments that airlines have made to the TIA. But BARN could not provide the details.
TIA is yet to receive Rs 2.4 billion from different airlines as of July 2017. The airlines have not even paid passenger service fee that they collect from air passengers, and other fees such as the airport development fee, parking fee, navigation fee, security fee and counter rental amount, among others.
International airlines are not paying the fees even though they mobilize revenue worth around Rs 80 billion a year flying to and from Nepal.
Nepal's aviation market is worth nearly Rs 100 billion. The share of national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), however, is only around 10 percent.
According to the Airport Service Charge Regulations-2067 BS, it is the responsibility of the airport chief to collect service charges from the airlines. If any airline fails to pay such service charge within 60 days of the expiry of prescribed timeframe, the airport chief can order such airlines to stop flying to Nepal, according to the regulations.