Flights to Remote Districts of Karnali Diverted to Tourism Destinations

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Flights to Remote Districts of Karnali Diverted to Tourism Destinations

April 5: Scheduled flights to and from remote areas of Karnali Province have been diverted to tourism hot-spots since the past few days as private airline companies have reportedly shifted their focus towards tourism destinations to earn quick money.    
With the increase in arrival of foreign tourists, the airline companies providing regular services to districts like Humla, Mugu, Jumla and Dolpa have allegedly diverted their flights to eastern districts where the influx of tourists is high during the peak season.

According to the stakeholders, Tara Air, Summit Air and Sita Air have reduced the number of regular flights to the remote districts of Karnali Province that are yet to be connected to the road network. This has caused inconvenience to the people of the remote districts of Karnali who rely on air service due to poor condition of roads.    
Though the people of southern Humla have access to road transportation service to travel in and out of the district, the people of Sarkegad, Kharpunath, Simkot and northern Namkha rural municipality face problems due to the flight diversion, the state-owned national news agency RSS reported.    
According to RSS, the district headquarters Simkot is yet to be connected with the national road network. Authorities at Simkot Airport informed said flights have been diverted since Sunday leaving passengers stranded at the airport.

Passengers awaiting for flight to Simkot from Nepalgunj and Surkhet complained that the flight diversion had lengthened their stay and made the travel unnecessarily expensive.    
The private airline companies have focused on tourist flights at Lukla, Pokhara and Jomsom, RSS further said. The people of Humla complained that they are not in the priority of airline service providers during the tourist season.

“They violated the rule requiring at least one flight for Humla in a season,” RSS quoted a passenger as saying.    
The state-owned Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) conducts only limited number of flights along the Nepalgunj-Humla route and the people complain of ‘undue influence’ in issuing air tickets.

The passengers accuse NAC employees in Nepalgunj of favouritism while issuing tickets to their relatives and also act upon the phone calls from people in power for the distribution of air tickets.    


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