Air tickets to cost more from MondayDomestic air travel will be costlier from Monday as carriers have jacked up ticket prices by 18-36 percent.
Domestic air travel will be costlier from Monday as carriers have jacked up ticket prices by 18-36 percent.
A meeting of the Airlines Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) on Thursday decided to implement the new fare structure which was approved by the Tourism Ministry last Tuesday. The AOAN has not hiked fares on remote sectors.
The revised ‘dollar fare’, or the fare that foreign tourists have to pay, will come into effect from October 1, 2017, the AOAN said.
The AOAN said that this was the first fare hike since February 2011. “It’s a steep hike, but it will not affect travellers much as airlines often sell multiple fare classes at different prices. Nearly 25 percent of the seats are put in the lowest fare class,” said Ghanshyam Acharya, spokesperson for AOAN. “And unless there is high seat demand, airlines will keep selling the lowest priced plane tickets.”
With this revision, a seat on a flight from Kathmandu to Dhangadhi, the longest domestic route, will cost Rs12,000 including a fuel surcharge of Rs3,330. A ticket to Dhangadhi used to cost Rs9,990.
A ticket on the shortest flight, Kathmandu-Simara, has gone up to Rs2,845, from the current fare of Rs2,305 one-way.
The increase follows the recommendation of a seven-member airfare revision committee of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan) which was reviewed by another panel led by Tourism Joint Secretary Suresh Acharya. Caan’s board okayed the proposal two weeks ago.
The ministry had assigned Caan to study the technical aspects of the proposed fare hike as per a request made by the AOAN and the provision requiring airfares to be reviewed every two years.
Domestic airfares have two basic components. The government controls the price of a plane ticket while airlines are allowed to fix the surcharge if fuel prices fluctuate by at least Rs4 per litre.
Domestic carriers posted double-digit growth in passenger carriage in the first half of 2016, pulling out of a four-year dive as travellers chose to fly rather than drive over bone-jarring national highways.
According to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), domestic airline passenger traffic jumped 10.82 percent to 741,128 during the January-June period. Statistics show that domestic carriers received 72,388 additional fliers in the first six months of 2016.