Competitions between domestic airlines in Nepal
In this modern era, many people travel by Air. Nepal is not also far from this trend. As Nepal is a mountainous country, travelling by road takes more time and also considered dangerous. Before the established of private airlines, Nepal airlines (former Royal Nepal Airlines) was the only airlines which was expensive and people couldn’t afford travelling by air.
As time passed, many new airlines were established. Necon airlines was the first private airline’s company opened in 1992. Since then several new private airlines like Buddha Air, Everest Air, Yeti Airlines, Gorkha Airlines, Cosmic Airlines etc were came into operation.
In Nepal, there used to be about 40 airlines. But at present, there are only 10 airlines including are 8 domestic airlines and 2 international airline. Other airlines had to close their service because of various difficulties most of them faced financial problems. As per now except Nepal Airlines all the domestic airlines are owned privately. Nepal Airlines have total of 9 domestic aircraft with 26 destinations airport in Nepal. As being the government airlines, it lacks many facilities as other domestic airlines. So the passenger travelling with this airlines is comparatively less than other private airlines. However, there is lack of figures. These days privately-owned airlines are gaining profit than the government ones.
There are total of 63 domestic aircraft in Nepal. Most of the aircraft in Nepal are quiet older. Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, Saurya Airlines and Shree airlines have planes like ATR, CRJ, J41 etc which need a long and blacktopped runway. These types of the runway only in the major cities of Nepal. So there is a competition between airlines to carry more passengers. To get more passengers, airlines add more aircraft, night flights, good facilities and so on.
Airlines who serve in mountainous airport like Sita Air, Tara Air, Summit Air and Nepal Airlines have aircraft like Twin otter, Dornier Do, Harbin etc which have capacity up to 20 passengers onboard. These airlines have face challenges to take flights on time due to weather situation. Some of the airlines had met accident, which are marked as the black history in Nepal aviation.
Domestic airlines also reduce their flight fares to attract more passengers. Different airlines have come up with benefit plans such as mileage card bonus, gift and so on. Like Buddha Air have a royal club and yeti Airlines have sky club members provisions to attract the passengers. These cards help the passengers to get free planes ticket, free coupons and more baggage space. Airlines also offers snacks, tea, coffee, cold drinks inside the aircraft.
As private airlines are growing, it seems passengers are getting less benefit in term of price and its benefits. These airlines should make provision to provide maximum benefit to its passengers with precaution of safety and reliability. They should also practice healthy and hygienic competitions. If they do so, more passengers will fly that will ultimately help their business well and contribute the national economy. While mentioning this, the government owned airlines should lead by examples. There are more actions to be taken for a quality services in this sector.