Airline companies irresponsible, says Minister Yogesh Bhattarai

Chitwan, August 29

Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai said airline companies were irresponsible to refuse to give 50 per cent discount on air fare for senior citizens, above 70 years old.

Addressing mediapersons at Bharatpur airport today, the minister said it was the duty and responsibility of both the state and private sectors to respect senior citizens. “I have heard airline companies saying that providing 50 per cent concession to senior citizens was not possible. But I’m confident that they will ultimately respect the government’s decision realising their social responsibility towards senior citizens.”

He said there will be a review of domestic air fare. “Our air fares are expensive, mostly for foreigners. As these high fares have affected the entire tourism sector, there will be a review of current air fare of domestic airlines,” he said. On the occasion, the minister also shared his plans to upgrade Bharatpur airport.

“This airport is on my priority list. While we’re thinking of adding runways and operating flights even at night, there are also plans to modernise its terminal building,” he said. Bharatpur Airport will be developed as an alternative domestic airport, outside Kathmandu, said Bhattarai.

Expressing confidence that the government would meet the target of attracting two million tourists in the country in 2020, the minister said there were plans to upgrade existing airports across the country.