Domestic airliners hit by fare hike

Domestic airliners hit by fare hike

Rough weather and regular hike in airfare seemed have forced the passengers to take ground transportation for movement as the domestic airliners witnessed passenger movement decrease for the second straight year. Domestic passenger movement decreased by 2.06 per cent in 2013 to 1.54 million last year as the airlines flew 32,455 fewer passengers from a year ago, according to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). Airliners posted a robust growth of 13 per cent in 2008, which jumped to 33 per cent in 2009 due to cut-throat competition among the airliners. Though passenger movement increased by 12.83 per cent in 2010, the growth rate started dropping since 2011. Except Buddha Air and Tara Air, all the private airliners recorded negative growth during last year. In the last three years, domestic airfare has increased by more than 40 per cent due to increase in fuel surcharges. Fuel accounts for 30 per cent to 35 per cent of the total cost of airlines operation, according to airliners. The Nepali sky witnessed 69,076 flights in 2013, a decrease by 2.54 per cent compared to a year ago. An average of 192 domestic planes took off and landed at the Kathmandu airport daily. According to the airport authority, Buddha Air flew 892,270 travellers in 2013, up by 1.20 per cent compared to 2012. Buddha Air had recorded passenger growth of 27.59 per cent in 2012. Likewise, Yeti Airlines witnessed decrease of passenger by 2.09 per cent to 443,335. But, Tara Air witnessed robust growth of 19.04 per cent compared to 2012 as it flew 81,853 passengers in 2013. Likewise, Simrik Airlines flew 69,791 passengers in 2013 as it acquired Agni Air and Guna Airlines' aircraft. The poor performer was the state-owned national flag carrier Nepal Airlines that flew 20,591 passengers – some 44.15 per cent decrease compared to 2012 – in 2012.
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