The country’s only international airport served an increasing number of international passengers and air traffic in the first nine months of 2017.
The statistics published by Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) depicts that 1.8million passengers passed through international facility of TIA from January to September 2017. Jet Airways topped the list after serving 347,042 passengers in the first nine months of 2017 whereas national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation managed to conquer second position with serving 281,857 passengers.
Budget carrier FlyDubai stood third however; the airline saw a decline of 3.91 percent in passenger growth. Likewise, Air Arabia also experienced a decline of 13.95 percent as it flew 252,797 passengers in 2016 whereas it only carried 217,516 passengers in 2017. Similarly, Qatar Airways also joined the list with decline of 16.62 percent to 215,842 passengers served in first nine months of 2017. On the other hand Oman Air saw a decline of 2.94 percent, Indian Airlines 16.8 percent and Etihad Airways 10.82 percent.
Malindo Air, Malaysian based budget carrier, experienced heavy growth of 111.16 percent in passenger statistics as it flew 109,432 passengers in first nine months of 2017 whereas it only flew 51,823 passengers in 2016.
Besides, international carrier from Nepal; Himalaya Airlines carried 88,783 passengers in the first nine months of this year. Chinese carriers on the other hand also saw their passenger growth escalated by 120.55 percent as the major carriers namely Air China, China Eastern, China Southern and Sichuan Air flew 231,730 passengers from January to September this year.
TIA with its limited and insufficient infrastructures is handling maximum flights as it experienced 27.54 percent increase in aircraft movement this year. The airport is desperately in need of essential infrastructural enhancements and the country is in need of alternative international airport. Domestic flights have been experiencing delays day by day. Lack of sufficient parking bays have hardly hit the smooth operation of the airport. Besides, frequent runway cracks and other infrastructural damage is making the airport much more vulnerable.