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Nepal: Covid pandemic drops airlines business by 65 percent

Khalid Umar Malik
12 Jan 2022

KATHMANDU, Nepal - According to Tribhuvan International Airport data, 1.44 million international passengers traveled through the Kathmandu airport last year, a 65.11 percent decrease from pre-Covid 2019. This equates to a 2.69 million passenger loss.

Aircraft movements also fell to a 15-year low of 11,760 takeoffs and landings, a reduction of 63.74 percent from 2019.

This is based on data from 28 carriers, including chartered flights, as governments imposed harsh travel restrictions last year in an attempt to limit the coronavirus epidemic.

According to airline executives, domestic carriers braved the Covid-19, as the sector saw a record 3.5 million passengers for the first time in history.

However, low tourist arrivals and a lower number of migrant workers traveling for labor destinations contribute to low passenger volumes in the international sector.

As additional countries report cases of the Omicron variety, airlines are confronting a new hurdle.

"Nepal may soon impose a rule to provide proof of being vaccinated against the coronavirus. That may further impact air travel," Nepal's Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson, Deo Chandra Lal Karn, said.

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