-S. SIERRA, KATHMANDU
The domestic terminal of Tribhuvan International Airport is seeing a weighty number of travelers as the biggest festival of the country that lasts for 10 days gears up its way. Every year this period of festival, huge number of travelers travel to and fro from Kathmandu to their home in another part of the country or vice versa that results a very noticeable increase in air passengers too.
Recently, TIA had seen a drastic increment of air travelers as people prefer air transportation to long and tiring road transportation. Moreover, many of the remote areas in Nepal are inaccessible without traveling via air because of which air travel has not only been choice but also obligations for people of Nepal.
More than 2 million people are expected to depart from Kathmandu to other places in country for the festival which dramatically increases the domestic travelers in the airports of Nepal. As a result the terminal of TIA is getting overcrowded from early in the morning these days. The approaching festival thus adds more crowd to the busy domestic terminal of TIA.
Present statistics show that daily around 400 flights operate from TIA which is still expected to rise up to 25 percent for the festival.
The domestic sterile hall enhancement and capacity increment is still under progress because of which a lot of passengers have to be stranded in unmanaged and chaotic way inside the terminal. A large number of passengers have to stand up and wait for check in and for boarding their flight after security check that really makes a chaotic scene inside the terminals of TIA in peak seasons like this.
As the festival approaches, foreigners traveling to tourist destinations like Lukla have also increased subsequently. The improvement in weather and prevailing of fair weather adds on the foreign domestic travelers in this period of time resulting the dramatic increase in passengers inside domestic terminal of TIA.
The tickets are pre sold for during this season so only a limited number of passengers get ticketed to travel in this peak season. Rest of them need to find an alternative way to travel as air services cannot match the required demand of the number of passengers for the festival, one of the passenger looking for ticket complained.
The festival has also caused increment in the number of international passengers incoming Nepal from other countries. The passengers include the Nepali citizens coming in a vacation to celebrate festival in Nepal.