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HomeNewsNepal Domestic Aviation Industy Experienced Significant Turndown.

Nepal Domestic Aviation Industy Experienced Significant Turndown.

Nepal’s local airline scene faced tough times last year as it dealt with money troubles, higher taxes, and tragic accidents, a stark difference from the happy times of 2022 when lots of people were flying.


In the last 12 months, the nine regular airlines and twelve helicopters in Nepal’s domestic fleet flew around 4.15 million people. But, according to the stats from Tribhuvan International Airport, there was a noticeable 7.07 percent drop in the number of passengers compared to the year before, which means about 315,826 fewer people took to the skies.


The head honcho at Tribhuvan International Airport, Pratap Babu Tiwari, said the slump in passengers was because of the country’s economic slowdown and the high prices of plane tickets, which made folks think twice about flying.


Even though things looked good in 2021 and airlines had special deals in 2022, the first recession in Nepal in a long time, along with the Yeti Airlines crash in January 2023, hit the airline business hard. After the crash in Pokhara, not as many people wanted to fly, and the airlines were left with less than 40 percent of their seats filled.


The airline industry faced more problems with two crashes in one year, making tickets cost 25 percent more in 2023. The troubles didn’t stop there; the government added a 13 percent tax to air tickets in September, making flying even more expensive. Before that, the cost for using airport services doubled for local travelers and tripled for international ones.


Anil Manandhar, who manages things at Shree Airlines, said 2023 was the worst year for airlines, even worse than the time when Covid messed everything up. With the economic slowdown and more expensive tickets, airlines really felt the squeeze.


The situation deteriorated to the point where Guna Airlines was forced to close its doors in February 2023 due to insufficient funding.


It appears like things will get a lot better for local airlines in 2024. The situation was made more difficult this winter when numerous flights had to be called off due to the freezing weather.


Cold waves lasting longer than usual are causing problems not just for crops but also for airlines.


The numbers show that the total flights took a nosedive last year.Domestic flight numbers in 2023 were close to 97,000, a 10.36% reduce from the previous year. 2023 saw an average of 266 daily flights into and out of Kathmandu, a decrease from the common 297 flights.

Even though privately-owned airlines in Nepal got more planes and could fly at night in more places, new airports didn’t really help the aviation business grow. Experts say that while the airlines could now operate for 18 hours a day in some airports, this didn’t do much to boost the industry.


With all these challenges, it looks like the skies might stay turbulent for Nepal’s local airlines in the coming days.

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