Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) recorded a double-digit growth of 13.53 percent in passenger traffic in the first six months of 2014, thanks to increased movement of tourists and migrant workers.
A total of 1.722 million passengers passed through country’s sole international airport over the review period, against 1.517 million a year ago, TIA data showed.
Flight movements rose 13.13 percent to 12,672. On an average, 70 international flights took off and landed daily. The airport has seen a robust passenger and aircraft traffic growth since 2003.
“The growth in migrant workers’ movement, besides increased tourist arrivals, contributed to the rise passenger traffic,” said Hari Man Lama, managing director of Incentive Tours and Travel and general sales agent of Air Asia X.
He said a rise in arrivals from Southeast Asian nations—which are witnessing a rapid economic growth—compared to the European segment, also boosted Nepal’s tourism. “Chinese arrivals have been exceptional.”
Industry insiders predict the growth will continue in the next year as almost all international carriers connecting Nepal have doubled their flight frequency amid growing travel demand. Except a few, the airlines have seen double-digit growths in terms of passenger occupancy.
The TIA stats show India’s Jet Airways reached the top spot for the first time in terms of passenger carriage. It flew 176,585 travellers in the first six months, up 10.39 percent. Jet operates five daily flights—three on Kathmandu -Delhi and two on Kathmandu -Mumbai sectors.
Doha-based Qatar Airways slipped to the second spot with 171,712 passengers, down 2.62 percent.
Low-cost carriers (LCC) Air Arabia and Fly Dubai stood third and fourth, with 29.50 percent and 13.85 percent passenger growth, respectively. Air Arabia and Fly Dubai received 133,376 and 130,581 passengers, respectively.
India’s flagship Air India slipped to fifth spot with a meagre 1.65 percent passenger growth. It flew 123,599 travellers. Growth of Malaysia-based Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia X has been exceptional. Malaysia Airlines flew 88,686 travellers, up142.11, while Air Asia flew 105,888 passengers, up 86.46 percent.
However, Nepali flag bearer Nepal Airlines slipped to the seventh spot, recording a negative growth of 13.33 percent to 97,125 travellers. Nepal Airlines’ market share shrank to 5.63 percent in the review p-period.
India’s no-frills career SpiceJet saw a meagre 1.72 percent passenger growth, while IndiGo Airlines posted a 13.15 percent growth.
The TIA stats show four Indian carriers—Jet, Air India, Spice Jet and IndiGo—commanded a 26.67 percent market share. Five no-frills carriers—Air Arabia, Fly Dubai, Air Asia, SpiceJet and Indigo—took 30.71 percent market share. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways flew 88,984 passengers, up 37.51 percent year-on-year. The stats show three Chinese carriers—Air China, China East-ern and China Southern—saw their passenger occupancy grow 20.15 percent to 99,088.
Thai Airways and Singapore-based Silk Air saw their passenger numbers drop 9.85 percent to 68,897 and 8.98 percent to 22,506, respectively.
Korean Air and Dhaka-based United Airways posted a 6.30 percent and 76.83 percent drop in passenger occupancy, respectively. Bangladeshi flag carrier Biman posted a growth of 54.55 percent to 41,438.
Top 10 airlines (Passenger traffic JAN-JUNE 2014)
Airlines 2013 2014 Change (%)
Jet Airways 159,951 176,585 10.39
Qatar Airways 176,339 171,712 -2.62
Air Arabia 102,992 133,376 29.50
Fly Dubai 114,690 130,581 13.85
Air India 121,585 123,599 1.65
Air Asia 56,787 105,888 86.46
Nepal Airlines 112,068 97,125 -13.33
SpiceJet 90,439 91,998 1.72
Etihad Airways 64,708 88,984 37.51
Malaysia Airlines 36,630 88,686 142.11
News taken from : eKantipur