Recent efforts aimed at the establishment of peace that culminated in the signing of the landmark November 8 agreement between the SPA and the Maoists have not failed to give a fillip to business and industry, including the tourism sector. Consequently, in addition to the around 13 international airlines operating in Nepal, Korean Air is billed to join as yet another airline flying into Nepal this year following the official nod to Orient Thai and Etihad Airways. This trend of international air operations promises an aviation boom in the country.
The fairly impressive line-up of airlines can become really meaningful if only this results in the growth of tourism and national exchequer to a considerable extent. The growing competition in civil aviation sector should also draw the attention of policy-makers to do something concrete to turn the national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation into a modern and competitive enterprise. They should also recognise the futility of appointing commissions just to put forth recommendations only to be blissfully slept on sine die. Another important thing is to see if the benefits accrue to the consumers or not. The price cartels and syndicates, despite economic liberalisation, invariably lead to complications of all kinds. In majority of cases only a handful of unscrupulous elements end up claiming the lion’s share of the profit. It’s the government’s duty to ensure that everybody sticks to the legitimate rules of the game.