Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), sole international airport of Nepal has faced huge loss after AirAsiaX halted flight operations without clearing due amount of more than NRs 20 Crore.
TIA has decided to seek help from International Air Transport Association (IATA) to collect dues of AirAsiaX. IATA is the trade association of world’s airlines consisting of 290 airlines, primarily major carriers, representing 117 countries.
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 they did not have any option other than to ask IATA for collecting pending dues after repeatedly asking to AirAsiaX for clear pending dues.
“We will give one week ultimatum to AirAsiaX for clearing dues and it fails to clear dues then we will discuss with Malaysian Embassy as previously it committed us to represent the issue to Regional and International Civil Aviation Organization,” he added. If still the issue is not solved then we have to write letter to IATA for asking help to collect dues, Chhetri said.
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 (NTB). NTB urged Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to aid in collecting the dues.
AirAsiaX had been conducting regular flights with its 274 seat capacity Airbus 330 aircraft in Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport. AirAsiaX has mentioned that it will resume its flight if the number of passenger increases, however it is now clear that, the government will not permit AirAsia without collecting pending dues.
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.