International airlines serving Nepal saw a 20.19 percent rise in passenger movement in 2010 compared to 2009.
Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), the sole international airport in Nepal, reported that passenger volume in 2010 reached 2,436,558 against 2,027,147 in 2009. All the major airlines, particularly those connecting labour destinations, witnessed greater business compared to 2009.
According to the TIA report, Qatar Airways, Air Arabia, Etihad Airways, Fly Dubai, Bahrain Air and Oman Air reported the strongest full-year passenger growth.
Qatar Airways, Air Arabia and Etihad Airways, Bahrain Air recorded passenger growth of 19.49 percent, 18.84 percent, 49.39 percent and 42 percent respectively compared to 2009. Qatar Airways claimed the highest number of passengers in 2010.
New entrants Oman Air and Fly Dubai also saw a healthy passenger growth in 2010.
However, Gulf Air posted a negative growth in passenger movement. The number of passengers dipped 25 percent but the carrier was able to take the fourth place in terms of passenger movement.
Similarly, airlines based in India reported a healthy growth in passenger movement last year. Jet Airways carried 52 percent more passengers in 2010 compared to 2009.
Jet Lite International saw its passenger movement rise 4.46 percent while Indian Airlines dropped 12.38 percent.
China Southern, China Eastern and Air China from China reported a growth in passenger movement of 6.90 percent, 261 percent and 23.34 percent respectively.
Passenger movement on Thai Airways dropped 5.92 percent in 2010 compared to 2009. Bangladeshi airlines Biman Bangladesh and GMG Airlines saw a significant passenger growth of 49.83 percent and 62.97 percent respectively in 2010.
Hong Kong-based Dragon Air reported a growth in passenger movement of 44.73 percent while Singapore-based Silk Air saw a slight increment in passenger volume. Passenger movement on Korean Air and Pakistan International Airlines dipped 4.74 percent and 18.14 percent respectively. Bhutan’s Druk Air saw a marginal rise in 2010. Arke Fly of the Netherlands, which began service on Oct. 7, 2009, carried 6,668 passengers in 2010.
Nepal Airlines Corporation, the national flag carrier of Nepal recorded negative growth in passenger movement in 2010. NAC lost 2.17 percent to take the third place in terms of passenger movement.
Int’l Airlines passenger movement in Nepal
Airlines 2009 2010
Qatar Airways 251,214 300,184
Jet Airways 167,849 255,161
Nepal Airlines 237,751 232,577
Golf Air 238,527 178,887
Thai Airways 186,466 175,422
Indian Airlines 199,770 175,022
Air Arabia 131,386 156,147
Etihad Airways 77,981 116,496
Jet Lite 107,271 112,060
Biman Bangladesh 70,727 105,971
Fly Dubai —- 81,446
Dragon Air 47,658 68,977
GMG Airlines 37,077 60,425
Kingfisher —- 55,470
Silk Air 52,372 52,906
Pakistan Int’l 58,161 47,610
Bahrain Air 32,877 46,726
Air China 29,620 36,536
Korean Air 33,099 31,528