Fares to Europe and the United States from Kathmandu remain twice as expensive, while Nepalese going Gulf countries for foreign employment are paying more than before.
Devaki Gurung, the operator of a travel business in Kathmandu, claimed the price had been more than quadrupled despite the cancellation of chartered flights and the reinstatement of normal flights.
“Previously, one-way tickets to Europe were available for Rs 50,000-55,000, but the price has been doubled as of July 20. According to him, the fare for Gulf countries is higher, and it has been increased.
KTM-DEL flight fare raised to Rs 50,000
Demand for tickets on the KTM-DEL route has been rising, and prices have increased in lockstep. A seat on a journey to Delhi has been raised to Rs 50,000 (One way) almost five times the usual price.
Travel agents and airlines claim that tickets have grown more expensive due to the two neighbors’ flights remaining unchanged despite a massive rise in travel demand.
The problem for people going for foreign employment
The employees have been victimized as a result of the government’s obligatory quarantine policy for Gulf nations.
“We travel agencies pay by card to book a hotel and get a ticket for more than one lakh for quarantine and 70,000 for tickets,” Gurung said.
Sujit Kumar Shrestha, general secretary of the Foreign Employment Businessmen’s Association, said that passengers were impacted by Nepal Airlines Corporation flights being unavailable in these nations.
Saudi Arabia charges USD 800 for six nights under the pretense of quarantine. That’s it for a basic room without a television or air conditioning,” he said.
When does the flight return to normal?
Entrepreneurs believe that increasing the number of flights would boost competition and improve customer experience as well as fare cost.
However, Civil Aviation Authority officials said the coronavirus infection has rendered it difficult to resume flights at the moment. According to CAAN, many authorities, including the Ministry of Health and Population and the CCMC, should make a determination.
From May 17 to 30, only chartered flights were flown after the government obtained a restraining order on April 30.
Later that month, travel companies filed a complaint with the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), alleging that airlines monopolized a restricted number of scheduled flights.
Regular flights have been added since then, but customers continue to complain that prices have almost doubled.
Inquiry and action
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced the start of an inquiry into customer allegations that prices have been increased. CAAN authorities said that legal action would be taken if found wrong after investigation.
“We identify the weaknesses in which side or who did the mischief. We are the ones who can take action. We will send the report to the concerned bodies as soon as possible.”
Officials assert that demand for scheduled flights is driven by market demand and supply circumstances.