Kathmandu, January 15
AirAsia, which had suspended services to Nepal from October 2018, has refuted that the airline company has any outstanding payment to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) in respect to its operations into Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
Amid CAAN officials claiming that AirAsia is yet to clear over Rs 180 million in dues to the government, the airline company has stated through a press statement that it has no dues.
“The overdue payments claimed are due to long outstanding bills which were not made by AirAsia’s former local travel partner in Nepal — Incentive Group of Companies (IGC),” reads AirAsia’s press statement.
However, Rajkumar Chhetri, spokesperson for CAAN, said that the airline company has yet to clear dues worth Rs 180 million — Rs 50 million in respect to its operation at TIA and Rs 130 million in penalties for delayed payment.
“AirAsia has to be responsible towards ensuring that the government gets the payment of the due amount as soon as possible,” said Chhetri.
While AirAsia passed the buck to its former local travel partner in Nepal, IGC officials were not available for comment on this issue. Moreover, it is said that officials of IGC are currently out of contact.
Meanwhile, CEO of AirAsia Benyamin Ismail said in the statement, “Although this is not our dispute, we continue to work closely with CAAN and TIA to assist to resolve this matter as soon as possible. We want to support Visit Nepal 2020 and AirAsia will consider reinstating services to Nepal if this matter can be finalised or redirected to IGC.”
“In the spirit of resolving the issue amicably with CAAN, AirAsia has not only been current with its payments, but had in good faith, remitted additional payments on top of the monthly charges to CAAN, which resulted in additional operational costs and resources on the part of AirAsia,” reads the airline’s statement.
A version of this article appears in print on January 16, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.