Nepal Airlines Loses Revenue After Authorities Cut Schedule To Delhi

Nepal Airlines is concerned about the loss in revenue due to schedule cuts made to its Kathmandu-Delhi flights. The sector is a major cash cow for the national carrier, and the schedule changes come during the peak traveling season, resulting in losses amounting to millions.

From 14 to 10

Nepal Airlines has requested the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to reconsider its decision to cut the carrier’s weekly Kathmandu-Delhi schedule from 14 to 10 flights. The airline is facing a significant dip in revenue as this is a highly profitable route, and it has to now bear the additional cost of rerouting passengers.


Photo: Airbus

According to a report by The Himalayan Times, the airline is losing ₹90.5 million ($693,000) every week for flying fewer flights. A Nepal Airlines official was quoted as saying,

“We’d been operating two Kathmandu-Delhi flights per day at near full occupancy, which was one of the major income sources for NAC.”

The reason behind this is the aviation authority’s efforts to reduce congestion at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) and instead positioning some flights to Gautam Buddha International Airport (BWA), which recently became an international airport and is situated around 300km from Kathmandu.

Flight path

Second international airport

In a bid to promote the use of Gautam Buddha International airport, CAAN had asked Nepal Airlines to move some Delhi-bound flights there. CAAN’s Information Officer Gyanendra Bhul said that the authority was compelled to cut the airline’s schedule out of KTM for not properly committing to operations out of BWA.

The decision to reduce Nepal Airline’s Delhi (DEL) schedule out of KTM was enforced on October 30th, when several passengers booked on its flights were caught by surprise.

Nepal Airlines Airbus A320 aircraft as seen taxiing on the runway of Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport

Photo: Getty Images

According to The Himalayan Times, 254 passengers were stranded at Tribhuvan International Airport on October 30th when a Delhi-bound Nepal Airlines aircraft was denied permission for take-off. The flight was not part of that day’s schedule, and, therefore, could not receive clearance to depart.

Bhul was quoted as saying,

“The NAC had clearance to take off for New Delhi during the morning schedule but was not permitted to conduct the afternoon flight. Despite the fact that NAC officials knew there was no flight scheduled in the afternoon, they did not inform passengers, but rather distributed boarding passes to them. We have sought clarification from NAC within 24 hours regarding ticket sales of an unscheduled flight, troubling passengers, and disrupting security at the airport.”

Reluctance to move to new airport

Nepal Airlines was asked to conduct at least one flight from Gautam Buddha International Airport, but the airline is reluctant to move operations there due to low demand. In October, the carrier said that it could move some flights to the new airport in December after doing its own research and study before selling tickets.

Nepal Airlines Airbus A330

Photo: Airbus

It also cited the example of Jazeera Airways, which had to reduce its flights from BWA due to low passenger count. Ramesh Poudel, deputy director at the commercial department of NAC, said,

“How can another airline company not hesitate to conduct flights from GBIA when the airline offering services to that airport is already facing troubles?”

The airline has requested to re-instate its previous four flights to Delhi as of now until it can look at the viability of starting services out of Buddha International Airport in the future.

What are your views on this? Please leave a comment below.

Source: The Himalayan Times

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