International air traffic to Nepal up 20 percent

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International airlines serving Nepal saw a 20.19 percent rise in passenger movement in 2010 compared to 2009.

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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

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.