Airline companies operating in Nepal have reached a sum of about one and half Billion to be paid as the charges to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
More than half dozen airline companies which are in operations have not paid around NRs. 49.2 Millions to TIA. Management committee of TIA halted all flights of Saurya Airlines from December 6 since the airline was unable to pay the dues.
The airline had promised to pay the dues to the airport for a long time and after the airline was unable to pay the due amount, the airport had been decreasing the operation hours of the airline. The airport has stated to provide approval to operate flight only after the airlines paid the minimum amount the airport has demanded. Saurya Airline has more than NRs. 30 million due that the airport had been demanding for more than a year.
The airport has currently demanded around 2.5 million rupees immediately so that the airline can recommence the operation stated TIA official.
Simrik Airlines has also not cleared dues of TIA. The carrier has left to pay Rs 4.6 Million to TIA. Similarly, Himalaya Airline is also in the list of not clearing dues of TIA. The carrier which has been operating international flights has not clear dues of NRs. 12.4 Millions.
According to Raj Kumar Chhetri, General Manager of TIA, the due of Himalaya Airlines was high earlier. A few months ago, Himalaya Airlines paid NRs. 55 Millions to TIA and has promised to clear all the pending dues in December month. Chhetri said that if the carrier fails to clear pending dues then the regulatory official will halt its operation from January , 2019.
AirAsiaX, Malaysian low-cost airline is one of the international airline which has not clear pending dues. AirAsiaX closed the regular flight service in Nepal without clearing due amount of more than NRs 200 Millions of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) and Nepal Tourism Board.
Chhetri also informed that the airlines closed its flight operation without clearing due of around NRs 130 Millions to the airport office. During the last flight of AirAsiaX on October 13 (Ashoj 27) the airport officials also tried to prevent the aircraft leaving TIA for Malaysia. However, the aircraft left TIA with the assistance of Malaysian Embassy in Nepal.
He 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.
Pratap Babu Tiwari, spokesperson of TIA stated that AirAsia X dues are mainly delayed charges. The carrier has requested to deduct the delayed charge to TIA. However, TIA official has refused to do.
“ We have demand to clear pending dues shortly,” he said, ‘We have also contacted Malaysian embassy located in Nepal to help in collecting the money,’.
Spokesperson Tiwari said that no airlines will get rid without clearing the dues of TIA.
The airline operators both international and domestic have not cleared their dues that is generated from passenger service charge, landing/parking charge, airport development fee, security fee and so on.
Likewise, Gulf Air, Kingfisher airlines, Bahrain Airlines, Necon Air and Cosmic air which have stopped operation have left to pay dues. These airlines companies has repeatedly denied the TIA request for clearing the dues.
Cosmic Air has not paid NRs. 33.4 Millions whereas Necon Air has not clear NRs 46.3 Millions and Gulf Air NRs. 22.3 Millions and Kingfisher Airlines have not cleared Rs 11.1 cleared. The lowest dues is NRs 2.4 Millions of Bahrain Airlines.
According to the Airport Service Charge Regulation 2067, the responsibility of collecting airport service charge goes to the chief of the airport who has to submit statement to head office every month. Likewise, those who fail to dispatch airport service charge within 60 days from the generation of bill then the airport chief can halt their business whereas in case of airline operators, the flight will be restricted.
In addition, the authority can blacklist the business and airline operators if they fail to pay the airport service charge and act beyond the rules, regulations and agreement of the authority. In such case, the business and airline operators will be restricted to run any businesses at the airport.