Friday, April 18, 2014 04:19 PM

Government seeks detailed flight plans from airlines for Dashain

KATHMANDU, SEP 18 -

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has asked domestic airlines operators to file their precise flight plans aimed at the festive season travel to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) within the next three days.

The ministry’s move is aimed at facilitating travellers during Dashain and Tihar festivals.

Hundreds of thousands of people living in Kathmandu rush back to their homes for Dashain, and the annual mass departure causes a system overload at airlines lasting more than a week.

A meeting held under the chairmanship of MoCTCA Secretary Sushil Ghimire on Tuesday also urged operators, who wish to fly additional flights to cater to passengers’ demand, to  get approved their plans for additional flight from the CAAN within a week. The ministry has directed managers of Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Pokhara, Nepalgunj and Surkhet airports to conduct regular monitoring whether airlines are conducting their flights as per their approved flight plans.

The ministry has also directed operators to position at least one helicopter each in Biratnagar, Pokhara and Nepalgunj during the night time to facilitate rescue operations.

Outbound airfares during peak travel times go up due to heightened demand for tickets. At the same time, inbound flights are near empty during the Dashain festival, and carriers slash fares by more than 60 percent.

Meanwhile, the ministry has requested single-engine airplane operators to make optimum utilisation of their aircraft during the festival. As single-engine air operators serve remote destinations, the ministry has requested them to provide chartered services at discounted rates.

The government statistics show 272 domestic flights take-off and land at Tribhuvan International Airport daily during the festival season (October), compared to 171 flights on a normal day.

Airlines receive 168,754 flyers in October—the highest number—among all months. Last year, domestic airlines flew 1.57 million travellers.

Posted on: 2013-09-18 08:51


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