Nepal Airlines: Best National Flag Carrier, Losing Market Shares

Nepal Airlines
Photo Credit: Bishwash Pokharel (Bottom Right Corner of the Image) via Nepal FM
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Written by Binayak Karki

Nepal Airlines Ironically still claims that even if the flights don’t depart on time, the reliability is yet 100%.

Nepal Airlines Corporation was awarded the ‘Best National Flag Carrier’ by Musafir Media Hub, a tourism branding entity in India.

This award was conferred during a ceremony in Delhi on November 16, 2023, acknowledging NAC’s excellence among airlines flying in India.

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) runs four international flights from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal to ten destinations such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Dubai, Doha, Dammam, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Japan.

Additionally, they operate two Twin Otter planes for domestic flights, servicing 15 locations including in Nepal, such as Taplejung, Ilam, Bhojpur, Phaplu, Tham Khark, Khanidanda, Rukum, Nepalgunj, Humla, Jumla, Dolpa, Bajura, Dang, Resunga, among others.

Despite being awarded the “Best National Flag Carrier”, data from reports show that the Corporation has lost a huge percentage of market share in the Nepalese aviation industry.

Poor Management at Nepal Airlines

Due to the negligence of the Nepal Airlines Corporation management, the competitiveness of the airline is continuously declining. After the appointment of Yuvraj Adhikari as the executive chairman of the corporation, the airline reached 25 of the overall Nepal market in 2020, resulting in an overall decrease of 9 percent in two years.

Nepal Airlines Corporation is facing a continuous decline due to the negligence of proper management.

The corporation’s self-released data indicates a decline to 16.56 percent in 2022, down from a peak of 25 percent in 2020.

The corporation has seen a consistent increase in market share since 2017. Starting at 10 percent in 2017, it rose by 1 percent to 11 percent in 2018. Subsequently, there was a significant increase of 7 percent in 2019, reaching 18 percent, followed by another 7 percent rise in 2020, reaching a peak of 25 percent.

Market Share of Nepal Airlines (2012-2022)
Market Share of Nepal Airlines (2012-2022)


In 2022, two narrow-body aircraft from the corporation remained grounded for over 500 days. One aircraft, which malfunctioned in December 2021, resumed flights in March 2022, while the other, which broke down in July 2020, resumed flights only in September of that year.

Throughout 2022, due to maintenance issues, neither of the two narrowbody aircraft was fully operational at any point. This resulted in a consistent pattern of one flight operating while the other remained grounded.

Apart from that, the Corporation also lost business due to the inability of the corporation management to seamlessly fly their two widebody aircraft used for international flights.

Nepal Airlines' Twin Otter for STOL Flights
Nepal Airlines’ Twin Otter for STOL Flights

Nepal Airlines Never Flies on Time

Based on the report published by the corporation itself, it seems that the flights barely took off on time.

Throughout the last fiscal year, the corporation’s flights consistently missed their scheduled departure times. Notably, only one month recorded a 68 percent on-time departure rate, while in August of that year, just 40 percent of the flights adhered to their schedules.

Flight Punctuality of Nepal Airlines
Schedule Punctuality of Nepal Airlines

According to the report published by the airline, 58 percent of flights were on time in July, while only 61 percent of flights took off on schedule in October.

Similarly, 60% of flights in October, 54% in November, 53% in January, 68% in January, 59% in February, 53% in March, 44% in May, and 54% in June have flown on time.

Ironically, the corporation still claims that even if the flights don’t depart on time, the reliability is at a 100% level.

About the author

Avatar of Binayak Karki

Binayak Karki

Binayak - based in Kathmandu - is an editor and author writing for eTurboNews.

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