Domestic airlines resume Mt Everest sightseeing flights after eight monthsThe airlines have launched a ‘Buy one, get one free’ ticket offer to entice passengers to fly and revive the ailing tourism industry.
The domestic airlines have announced resuming mountain view flights from next week after eight months of closure, as economic activities have started to pick-up again and return to normal, including all tourism-related activities. The airlines have launched “Buy one, get one free” ticket offer to entice the passengers to fly.
“Now, the domestic passenger movement has started to pick up. Along with the travel demand, there has been a request for sightseeing activities from people as well as foreigners, especially residential foreigners who have been serving in Nepal,” said Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesperson for Yeti Airlines.
“We will be conducting the flight once a week [on Saturday] and increase the frequency based on the demand,” he said. Yeti Airlines has announced three tiers of airfares. For Nepali flyers who buy a ticket costing Rs8,999, they will get another ticket free. The total flight time is 45 minutes. Similarly, for Indian and residential foreigners, the fare is Rs13,499. They will also get one ticket free. The scheme will not be applicable to other tourists, said Bartaula.
Buddha Air has also announced the resumption of mountain view flights with buy one, get one free offer. It will fly once a week on Saturday. “We expect the flight resumption, one of the key tourism products, will provide momentum to the slowed tourism activities to some extent,” Buddha Air said in a statement.
Buddha Air has fixed the fare for Nepalis at Rs8,900. Under the buy one, get one free offer, the passenger will get one window seat and one non-window seat.
The mountain view flight is one of the major income-generating activities for domestic airlines as it offers passengers views of the Himalayas, including the highest mountains on the earth, flying from Kathmandu. The flights were closed since the government announced the nationwide lockdown on March 24, halting all flights, except for emergency purposes.
During the peak tourism season, airlines used to make at least 10 mountain view flights a day.
According to an official of Buddha Air, passenger occupancy in domestic airlines has started to pick up. On Sunday, Buddha Air received 5,000 passengers, the highest number since the airlines resumed normal flights from September 21.
On September 15, the government had announced that domestic airlines would be allowed to resume services from September 17, but only if they fly with passengers half their capacity.
Private operators were quick to oppose the decision, saying they could not fly the planes half-empty. They warned that they would not fly any scheduled passenger flights until the government rolled back its decision. Bowing down to pressure from domestic airline operators, the government had scrapped its directive and airlines started normal operation from September 21.