Kathmandu, April 23
After Jet Airways halted its Kathmandu bound flights, aviation stakeholders in the country had expected Nepal Airlines Corporation, the national flag carrier, to immediately take advantage of the situation to expand its business. However, after much dilly-dallying, NAC has finally prepared to add flights on the Kathmandu-Delhi route from May 1.
“As one of our wide-body aircraft will be flying to Singapore on April 26 for technical maintenance, we plan to operate additional flights to Delhi from May 1,” Navaraj Koirala, joint spokesperson for NAC, told THT.
NAC is operating 11 flights a week on the Delhi sector with its narrow-body aircraft. From May 1, it will add three more flights to Delhi. NAC is planning to operate both wide-body planes on this route so that they can carry 276 passengers at once instead of just 157.
Currently, Indigo Air, Air India, NAC and Drukair are operating flights on the Kathmandu-Delhi route.
According to Koirala, NAC has already received necessary slots to operate flights at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. After receiving a slot from the concerned airport, the airline company has to submit an application to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal for rescheduling its flight time at Tribhuvan International Airport. However, NAC is yet to submit the application at CAAN.
Meanwhile, Indigo Air has submitted an application at CAAN to add new flights on the Kathmandu-Delhi route from June 5, while officials from SpiceJet had an informal conversation with CAAN to begin flights on this route. Previously, Jet Airways was operating 35 flights a week on this route.
While there are reports of shortage of seats on Mumbai and Bangalore flights as well, Dhakal said the flow of passengers on the said routes was lower and that NAC did not have any plans of adding flights to these destinations in the near future.
A version of this article appears in print on April 24, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.