Kathmandu, November 8
Domestic airlines will be able to operate more flights on Monday as compared to today because Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has said that it will increase refuelling facility for domestic carriers for tomorrow.
Only 35 per cent of the domestic flights were operated on Sunday as NOC provided only 25 kilolitres (kl) of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) to the domestic airlines.
According to Ghanashyam Raj Acharya, spokesperson for Airline Operators’ Association of Nepal (AOAN), Nepal Oil Corporation has pledged to give 35 kl of ATF to domestic airlines, which has ensured flights on trunk routes such as Kathmandu to Biratnagar, Pokhara, Bhairahawa, Dhangadi and Nepalgunj. Domestic airlines consume 60 kl fuel per day.
NOC’s ATF depot at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has rationed aviation turbine fuel to the domestic airlines for tomorrow. As per the quota, Buddha Air will get 12 kl, Yeti Airlines (10 kl), Saurya Airlines (2.5 kl) and Simrik Airlines (2.5 kl) for tomorrow to operate flights on trunk routes.
In addition, domestic carriers that operate flights in Kathmandu-Lukla sector will get additional fuel. Considering the flow of tourists in this sector, NOC has decided to provide one kl to Simrik, 1.2 kl each to Goma Air and Sita Air and 3 kl to Tara Air, according to AOAN.
Meanwhile, Nepal Airlines Corporation — the national flag carrier — has said it will operate three flights per day on November 9 and 10 to airlift ATF from Kolkata for uninterrupted service of domestic airlines. The national flag carrier airlifts 24 to 26 kilolitres of ATF during one flight. Since the disruptions in supply of petroleum products from
India to Nepal via land route, Nepal Airlines has already airlifted 792 kl aviation fuel till date, said the statement of Nepal Airlines Corporation issued today.
The country has already barred international airlines from refuelling facility at the country’s only international airport — TIA — from September 29. TIA has already issued a notice to international carriers that there would not be any refilling facility till November 15.
In the meantime, a private company that was awarded a contract by NOC to airlift aviation fuel has not been able to do so. The company named Petromax was supposed to airlift ATF from Kolkata and Dhaka through a chartered plane — Jordan Aviation Airlines’ Boeing 767 — from today.
The chartered plane is yet to come to Nepal and officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal have said that the company has not taken a landing permission at TIA.
However, the company has already taken a slot at Tribhuvan International Airport for chartered flights from November 7 to 24 to operate three flights per day.
A version of this article appears in print on November 09, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.