All the airline companies have reduced fare in the Kathmandu-Delhi sector by up to 75 percent due to the fall in passenger flow. Two-way fare for Delhi that had reached up to Rs 51,000 has now fallen to Rs 13,000 which is equal to the two-way fare for Dhangadi. Travel agencies say this fare is the lowest in the past three years.
Indian airline companies had been unilaterally increasing fare after the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) stopped flights to Delhi. The Indian companies, that were operating at a one-way fare of Rs 4,000 when the NAC was in operation, had increased it the two-way fare up to Rs 51,000 last November. The fare was in place during the Dashain/Tihar festivals and even the recently held SAARC Summit. Jet, Airways, Indian Airlines, Indigo and Spice Jet are currently operating flights to Nepal from Delhi. The Indian airline companies act as cartel and collectively hike air fare for Kathmandu-Delhi sector when passenger flow increases and reduce it during off-season. There have been accusations that fare is increased during the peak season by holding tickets as well.
“Two-way ticket for Delhi was up to Rs 51,000 at the end of November. One can now easily get a return flight at Rs 15,000. It is just Rs 6,000 for one-way ticket,” Promoter of Osho World Travels Shyam Thapaliya says. He reasons that the Delhi sector has also been affected by the falling fare in the Middle East. “Air fare for Delhi has fallen after a long time. This is the first time it has fallen after the NAC quit the Delhi sector. There is monopoly of Indian companies after the NAC quit and the latter must resume flights in the sector to break that,” President of the Society of Travels and Tour Operators (SOTTO) and promoter of Aerolina Travels and Tour Yam Bahadur Khadka says. He opines fare in the Delhi sector rises when the passengers focus toward Delhi after air fare for the Middle East rises.
Former president of the Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) and promoter of Gandaki Travels Ramkaji Kone says the fall in fare now is positive even though it had increased massively during the tourist season at the time of Dashain/Tihar festivals and the SAARC Summit immediately after that.