March 23: Airline companies of Nepal have agreed to reduce the domestic airfare at the request of the government. A meeting of the Airline Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) on Sunday decided to slash the airfare by 40 percent along domestic trunk routes considering the crisis created by coronavrius.
Buddha Air, Shree Airlines and Yeti Airlines have reduced the airfare as of Sunday evening (March 22).
Issuing separate statements, Buddha Air and Yeti Airlines informed about the companies’ decisions to reduce the airfare to Pokhara, Biratnagar and other destinations within the country. Meanwhile, Shree Airlines informed about the decision to slash the fare on Saturday.
The airline companies said they decided to slash the airfare due to the inconvenience caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government has imposed a ban on long-route vehicles from Monday (March 23) in a bid to prevent the possible spread of the deadly disease which has already killed at least 14,000 people worldwide.
Passengers are left with the only option of air route to return home after the government banned long-route vehicles. Therefore, the airline companies said they decided to reduce the airfare as long as the government enforces the ban on land routes. The ban will remain effective until April 3.
Meanwhile, the airline companies complained that the government did not provide any relief at a time when they were facing crisis due to lack of passengers amid fear of coronavirus outbreak.
Buddha Air expressed its dissatisfaction in a statement arguing that the airline companies have to bear 40 percent of their expenses just for fuel. According to the airline company, they can further reduce the airfare if Nepal Oil Corporation provides them fuel at a lower price without taking any profit.