Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) is expected to surpass Sunday’s international airlines traffic record, touching 132 over the course of 24 hours on Monday, the airport authority said.
Between 6:00 am to 6:00 pm on Monday, the country’s sole international airport, handled 59 arrivals and departures. The airport handled 172 domestic flights movement on Monday.
Airport officials said at least 73 flights (in and out) were scheduled after 6:00 pm. The airport is opened round-the-clock, following Wednesday’s Turkish Airlines mishap that forced the airport closed for four days.
“We were able to handle more international flights on Monday as the disabled Turkish Airlines aircraft was moved from the domestic taxiway to close to Nepal Airlines’ hanger,” said the officials. The airport was closed for an hour to relocate the aircraft.
The brief closure of the airport, however, forced a large number of international flights to divert. At least 10 flights were diverted to Calcutta, Lucknow and other airports in India, while scores of flights were delayed due to busy traffic. Air India was forced to cancel four flights.
TIA handled 120 international flight movements on Sunday, a day after it resumed services following the four-day shutdown. Since the airport resumed operations at 7:30 pm on Saturday, there has been 279 international airlines take-offs and landings at the Kathmandu ’s airport until Monday evening.
This high air traffic is expected to continue for a couple of days as international carriers scurry to clear their backlog. Most of the airlines have added extra flights to handle the passenger rush.
The unprecedented demand for air tickets have led to closure of new bookings on all the international flights until March 11, according to travel agents.