Ramechhap, October 15
Different private airline companies had made public their flight schedules from Kathmandu to Ramechhap almost a month ago. However, the airline companies have yet to start their flights.
Tara, Summit and Sita airlines had made their flight schedules public month ago. The companies had reported to the Civil Aviation Authority saying that they would conduct a flight each in a week from Kathmandu to Ramechhap.
The flight schedules made public by these companies stated they would conduct flights from October 1 to December.
Summit Airline had scheduled a flight from Ramechhap to Solu’s Lukla as well. Earlier, Tara, Kashthmandap and Goma airlines used to conduct cargo flights from Ramechhap to Lukla. The cargo service has also been halted now.
According to the published flight schedule, Summit Air will conduct flight every Friday, Sita Air every Tuesday and Tara Air on Fridays. People are waiting for tickets. But the airlines have yet to open ticket booking.
It is said that airline companies had published the schedule just to get permission from Nepal Civil Aviation Authority to conduct flights in urban areas. They had no intention of conducting flights to remote areas. NCAA does not give permission to any private airline to conduct flights in urban areas if they do not conduct flights in rural areas.
According to a source, the airline companies that have set the flight schedule for Ramechhap do not conduct flights to other remote places.
There has not been any flight from Kathmandu to Ramechhap in the past three years.
Ramechhap folks demanded that at least one flight be conducted from Kathmandu to Ramechhap in a week.
The airport has blacktopped the runway. It has a modern terminal and other infrastructure. Nepal Oil Corporation has operated a depot with facility to fill aviation fuel. Locals said airlines conducting flight once a week would not have to face passenger shortage.
Civil Aviation Authority Ramechhap Chief Kedar Satyal said even after frequent reminders about their flight schedule, private airlines had not conducted any flight till date. “We are holding discussion with the concerned private airline companies regarding the issue,” Satyal said.
A version of this article appears in print on October 16, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.