June 7, 2017-KATHMANDU
The airlines operating direct flights to Qatar from Kathmandu are receiving an unexpected gain after most of the Gulf airlines-FlyDubai, Etihad Airways, Air Arabia- suspended their flights to Doha from Kathmandu following the evolvement of diplomatic crisis in Qatar.
According to the TIA’s spokesperson Prem Nath Thakur, “Fly Dubai, Etihad Airways and Air Arabia have suspended their flights to Doha from Kathmandu starting this Monday whereas Qatar Airways, Nepal Airlines and Himalaya Airlines are operating their scheduled flight to Doha.”
Especially, Himalaya Airlines, Qatar Airways and Nepal Airlines are encountering increase in their flight bookings. Besides, the connecting flights of Jet Airways, Biman Bangladesh and Oman Air are also experiencing rise in their bookings.
The suspension of flights to Doha have arose a difficult situation for Nepali migrant workers who had free ticket of budget airlines. Moreover, those who had booked low-cost tickets now have to invest some more to board on a non-budget carrier. Middle East Airlines imposed ban on flying to Qatar from June 6, 2017 following Qatar’s diplomatic crisis.
The transport ban on Doha by the Gulf neighboring however; will not be affect the Nepali passengers reported the country director of Qatar Airways for Nepal. The passengers flying directly to Doha will not be hampered by the ban, he added. Currently, Qatar Airways jointly with Nepal Airlines and Himalaya Airlines conducts twenty-seven flights weekly to Doha from Kathmandu. The flight carriers deliver Nepali labor workers to Qatar in heavy numbers.
The Mideast airlines flights were operated normally till June 5. Entire customers with pre-booked tickets of flights to and from Doha were being provided with alternative options, i.e. with either full refunds on unused tickets or free re-booking to the nearest alternate destination options.