Nepalgunj, October 3
Lack of air tickets is taking a heavy toll on passengers wanting to return home from different districts for Dashain celebrations in the mid and far-west.
The only available means of transportation to Humla, Mugu, Dolpa, and Bajura districts from Nepalgunj is via air. However, scarcity of air tickets at Nepalgunj airport is giving a hard time to passengers who want to return home to celebrate Dashain.
These days, only two aircraft are flying to Humla, Mugu and Dolpa. One aircraft flies up to five times in a day. Nepal Airlines Corporation Regional Office Nepalgunj Chief Surendra Shrestha, attributed the dearth of air tickets to the pressure of passengers.
Earlier, ten to fifteen flights would take off for Humla alone. Similarly, there used to be 10 to 12 flights to Mugu and up to seven flights to Bajura. “Nowadays, only two flights on average are taking off to the districts. The reduced number of flights has left passengers in the lurch,” Shrestha said.
Bajura Kolti airport Chief Mohan Giri said that passengers were facing acute shortage of air tickets as eight private airlines had started flying to the eastern parts of the country for the Dashain festival. “Private airlines are focusing on the east with the arrival of tourists,” Giri said.
Nepal Airlines, Tara, Goma, Yeti, Sita and Simrik airlines had been making as many as 40 flights on average on a daily basis from Nepalgunj to different hilly districts earlier.
On the contrary, Nepal Airlines now has scheduled three flights to Humla, and two to Dolpa, Bajura and Mugu in a week. Of the private airlines, only Yeti airlines is conducting up to four flights in the region in a week.
Due to unavailability of aircraft and tickets, hundreds of passengers are stranded at Nepalgunj airport.
Phase Nepal staffer Sunita Darlami who was seen at Kolti airport, Bajura, complained that she had been visiting the airport for the past one week to visit Nepalgunj. “But, I have not got the ticket yet,” Darlami lamented.
A version of this article appears in print on October 04, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.