Himalaya Airlines, an international air carrier if Nepal nearly has 250 Million (NRs 25 crore) yet be paid to the government for using the services of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
Even though the pending amount of the airport service fee is so high, the carrier has been comfortably postponing the payment by making a written commitment repeatedly. But a highly place source claims that Himalaya Airlines is ready to pay NRs. 10 Million of the remaining due today. (May 5).
The carrier has already committed four times to clear the dues. According to the airport officials, the due of Himalaya Airlines was upto 230 Million (NRs 23 crore) till March.
Raj Kumar Chhetri, General Manager of TIA stated that the due will be about 250 Million by adding the bill amount of April month.
He said that the carrier had paid only 60 Million (NRs 6 crore) in one year of period.
Talking about the written commitment of Himalaya Airlines, GM Chhetri said that the carrier had committed to pay 10 Million (NRs 1 crore) on Friday (March 4) and NRs 75 lakhs monthly as an installment later.
“Now we have given the last chance. If the carrier fails to pay 10 Million today, then the airport authority will ground the aircraft for 1 hour at each flight,” Chhetri said.
As per the source, Himalaya Airlines tends to have political connections.
The carrier had not paid the airport service fee since July, 2018.
“On January 12, it paid NRs. 5 million (USD 44,058), asking for some more time to clear all dues,” he added.
A follow-up letter was sent off on February 15, again asking Himalaya Airlines to settle its dues or risk the grounding of its fleet of three A320-200s.
Likewise, the carrier paid NRs. 1 crore of the service charges to TIA on February 20, 2019. The airline paid the amount through cheque after receiving notice from TIA to take legal action as the carrier continuously failed to pay dues.
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 a 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.