Airlines adding flights to ease festive commute

Kathmandu, October 4

In a bid to facilitate festive commuters, domestic airline companies have increased flights to different destinations.

Yog Raj Kandel, spokesperson for the Airlines Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN), informed that every airline firm has increased flights to destinations where the flow is comparatively higher.

“Airline companies have increased the number of flights to various destinations as per the demand of the public amid complaints that they are facing hassles in obtaining air tickets,” informed Kandel, adding that additional flights to different destinations will ensure availability of air tickets during Dashain.

As per him, airline firms have increased up to 50 per cent flights to various destinations depending on the flow of passengers. Moreover, airline companies are ready to further increase the number of flights in Dashain if required, said Kandel.

However, airline operators have said that though the seat occupancy in flights from Kathmandu to various destinations is almost 100 per cent, occupancy in the flights to Kathmandu is less than 20 per cent. “Undoubtedly this is because the flow of people leaving Kathmandu to their respective hometowns is much higher during Dashain,” said Kandel.

It is expected that almost 2.5 million people will leave Kathmandu during Dashain. As per Traffic Police, almost 1.5 million people have already left the valley till today.

Airline operators have said that the flow of air passengers during Dashain has gone up significantly in recent years. Along with the rise in competition among airline firms, which has brought down the airfare, the pathetic road conditions across the country has also contributed to people preferring air travel.

Similarly, the Nagdhunga-Naubise road, which is a major route connecting Kathmandu, is currently undergoing maintenance, encouraging people to travel via air over roads.

Meanwhile, transport entrepreneurs have also said that they are adding vehicles on routes where the flow of passengers is higher.

“It is being wrongly reported that people are having difficulty in getting bus tickets. While we are managing bus tickets for everyone, we are also adding new public buses to different routes as per necessity,” informed Saroj Sitaula, general secretary at the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs.

The Department of Transport Management has also opened all land routes for all public vehicles across the country. Intended to facilitate people’s movement during Dashain, the provision is in place till the festival ends.