In the past month, the private sector international airlines Himalaya Airlines has flown 50 chartered flights. In contrast, the national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation has only 15, which includes the ten government-chartered flights. Due to this, the financial condition of the corporation is getting weaker.
The government has suspended international flights following Covid-19. The corporation is allowed to operate one flight a week to New Delhi and another to Doha.
According to corporation sources, the corporation had also reduced fares after the private sector Himalaya started charter flights. The corporation’s management has been questioned, as the business of Himalaya Airlines has remained the same even after reducing the fare.
Prior to the reduction, the corporation had set a fare of USD 13,000 per hour for a wide-body chartered flight. To compute with Himalaya, the corporation reduced the rate from USD 13,000 per hour to USD 11,000 and 7,000 dollars to 6,000 dollars per hour for the narrow body.
Even now, the fare of Himalayan is five to eight hundred dollars cheaper than ours, ‘said a corporation source. The government has not brought any relief program in the budget brought through the ordinance.
According to an official of the corporation’s commercial department, initially, some businesses came to the corporation for chartered flights. The decision-making process of the corporation is long and but it is done in an instant in private airlines. “We have to complete all the procedures,” the official said.
Although the government has suspended regular flights, it has not banned chartered flights. Most chartered flights carry medicine and medical equipment.