IndiGo readies to fly to KathmanduJune 17th, 2011 - 3:34 pm ICT by IANS
Kathmandu, June 17 (IANS) Fares on the New Delhi-Kathmandu flight are poised to dip, to the joy of the budget traveller, as India’s low-cost carrier IndiGo readies to start operations to the Himalayan republic with seven trips a week.
The Gurgaon-based domestic airline, which announced it would go international from September with flights to Dubai, Singapore and Bangkok, can actually debut with Kathmandu in August if Nepal’s tourism and civil aviation ministry cuts through the red tape.
President International, IndiGo’s general sales agent in Nepal, said Indian civil aviation authorities have cleared the New Delhi-Kathmandu flight. Once the concerned Nepal ministry gives its nod, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal will give the final permission.
With Nepal celebrating 2011 as its tourism year with a target of drawing one million air-borne tourists, President International said it would like to see the New Delhi-Kathmandu flight kick off from Aug 4.
The flight will see brand new 180-seater Airbus 320s with emphasis on low fares.
Currently, Jet Airways and Air India fly between the two capitals along with budget carriers JetLite and Spicejet. Bhutan’s national carrier Druk Air also transits in Kathmandu.
The one-way fare on budget airlines is about Nepali Rs.7,000. While there has been no official announcement about IndiGo’s fare structure, reports say it could be as low as Nepali Rs.5,000, inclusive of taxes.
Though India remains Nepal’s closest neighbour in terms of geography, and Indian cities are barely 90 minutes away from Kathmandu, the comparatively high fare on this segment as well as to other Indian cities from Kathmandu - like Kolkata, Varanasi and Mumbai - acts as a deterrent in bringing a larger number of visitors to Nepal from India.
“Hotels in Kathmandu and other packages are extremely competitive,” says Sharad Pradhan of Nepal Tourism Board. “But the high fare puts off travellers. In comparison, fares from India to other countries like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia are far cheaper.”
In the past, the advent of a budget Nepali airline, Cosmic Air with its promotional scheme of buy one, get one free, had been hailed by travellers and forced the other airlines to lower ticket prices. However, the honeymoon did not last long as Cosmic had to stop flights due to internal problems.
(Sudeshna Sarkar can be contacted at email@example.com)
- IndiGo begins international operations - Sep 01, 2011
- Better deals in offing for those flying abroad - Mar 06, 2011
- IndiGo to commence Delhi-Dubai flights from Sep 1 - Jun 14, 2011
- Air India to lose Kathmandu-Kolkata monopoly - Aug 25, 2010
- New price war in air as SpiceJet eyes Nepal - Dec 13, 2009
- IndiGo defends itself, says passenger safety paramount (Lead) - Jan 09, 2012
- IndiGo says passenger safety its mission - Jan 09, 2012
- December crash takes toll on Nepal airline's Bhutan flights - Feb 01, 2011
- SpiceJet to start daily flights to Dubai - Jun 08, 2012
- IndiGo goes international from August - Jan 19, 2011
- Domestic airlines' 2011-12 losses around Rs.10,000 crore - May 03, 2012
- Air India recorded highest number of cancellations in April - May 17, 2012
- Nepali airline starts India flights - Jan 07, 2011
- Kingfisher's market share falls to fifth place in November - Dec 22, 2011
- Spicejet to fly to Colombo, Kathmandu next month - Sep 07, 2010
Tags: air india, budget airlines, budget carriers, budget traveller, civil aviation authorities, civil aviation authority, civil aviation ministry, domestic airline, druk air, fare structure, indian cities, jet airways, low cost carrier, national carrier, nepal tourism board, red tape, sharad, spicejet, target, varanasi