AirAsiaX, Malaysian low-cost airline company has closed the regular flight service in Nepal without clearing due amount of more than NRs 20 Crore of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) and Nepal Tourism Board.
Previously, AirAsiaX sent written notice to TIA announcing to halt its scheduled flights between Malaysia and Nepal from October of 2018. The carrier has reached in a conclusion to suspend flight operation In Nepal for a year stating the reason of a shortage of air passengers.
Raj Kumar Chhetri, General Manager of TIA stated that after receiving written notice from AirAsia to halt its scheduled flights between Malaysia and Nepal, TIA authority also has forwarded a message to clear the pending dues.
Chhetri also informed that the airlines closed its flight operation without clearing due of around NRs 13 Crores to the airport office. During the last flight of AirAsiaX on October 13 (Ashoj 27) the airport officials also tried stopped the aircraft leaving TIA for Malaysia. However, the aircraft left TIA with the assistance of Malaysian Embassy in Nepal.
Chhetri told that the aircraft left only after the Embassy committed to initiate a step for clearing all pending fees of AirAsiaX.
Malaysian Embassy has also sent a written letter of commitment to the authorities. According to the commitment, if AirAsiaX fails to clear dues, the airport official will represent the issue to Regional and International Civil Aviation Organization. He claimed that he will continue claiming AirAsiaX the pending dues, until all left dues are cleared.
The Malaysian-based low-cost carrier paid nearly NRs 27 Crores after the TIA authority repeatedly asked the airline company to clear the due. AirAsiaX has not paid amount of nearly NRs 7 Crores of Nepal Tourism Board.
As per the Airport Service Charge Regulation, any airline that fails to pay its dues on time can be slapped with a penalty of five per cent for the next 15 days, 15 per cent for the period between 16 and 30 days of the due date and 30 per cent thereafter.
TIA issued the public notice in the second week of November 2017 asking all airline companies to pay all due following the instruction of Investigation Committee. TIA collected worth Rs 560 million from two dozen airline companies within the time-frame.