Festive and tourist season expected to upsurge air traffic

Posted on by Suman Karki

The air traffic of Nepal is expected to upsurge following the arrival of festive season along with increasing flow of tourists. Dashain and Tihar, the main festivals of Nepalese people are nearing. The airline companies, authorities and airport management are preparing to serve maximum passengers in the rush hour.

Kathmandu, the capital and the holder of the only international airport in the country is currently on the preparation of the most anticipated festive and tourism season starting from September. The festive season will particularly affect trunk route sectors as passengers find difficulty in booking tickets whereas STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) sectors will see majority of ticket sales from increasing number of foreign tourists.

Majority of Kathmandu out bounding highways and road ways have been obstructed by floods and landslide occurred due to excessive rain. So the locals travelling back to their home town for the festive celebration too will be compelled to use air travel to reach their destination. Hence the number of flights conducted from TIA is likely to reach its utmost highest level lessening the availability of tickets.

Yeti Airlines, one of the leading airline operators of Nepal, is conducting 4 flights a day with its newly arrived ATR 72-500. Similarly, 6 Jetstream-41 conducts 5 flights each these days. These frequencies will rise soon as the occupancy of Yeti’s flight has already covered more than 80%, said the spokesperson of Yeti Airlines Mr. Bhim Raj Rai. Among the various destinations, Tumlingtar has already occupied 100% occupancy of Yeti Airlines.

Likewise, another competent airline Buddha Air is conducting 15 flights daily with its 2 Beechcraft-1900D, 14 daily flights with ATR-42 and 19 by its ATR 72 aircraft. According to the information from officials, Buddha Air is not experiencing rush hour presently but the flight frequencies may increase at the festive time.

STOL airfield operators on the other hand will see their flight frequency increased especially from the peak tourist season. Nepal, land of the top eight highest peaks and two of the world’s most leading trek destination has always been the hit list for the majority of the global citizens to discover. Month of September at the other has been embarked as the introduction of autumn season, best period of yearly calendar to site Nepal’s natural and cultural beauty.

According to travel agencies September-November period is marked as the country’s peak tourist season, and has been predicted to land as much as 50 percent of the year’s total tourist. Thus the autumn season will result in maximum number of landings of aircraft at country’s one and only international airport. At present TIA both International and Domestic operation is amounted to more over four hundred flights in daily basis which will gradually exceed five hundred with the increase in flow of migrants’ workers, students and tourists arriving to the country.

About the Author
Suman Karki

An Aviation Enthusiast working with Aviation Nepal.