Thursday, 23 May, 2024

Taplejung locals wait for air service resumption

Taplejung, Sept. 2: It has already been two and half months since the flights to and from the Suketar Airport in Taplejung district have been halted owing to bad weather.

Only the planes of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) were flying to the airport, but the NAC stopped its flights since June 12, 2019, citing bad weather.

The passengers have been affected in lack of air service in the district. They fear whether the NAC will not resume its service even in the upcoming Dashain.

Earlier, NAC had conducted a test flight of its new aircraft in the Suketar Airport on August 6.  When the Chinese Y-12 plan successfully landed in the airport, the locals had expected that the airport would come into operation soon. But still the service has not been resumed.

However, the NAC said that it was waiting for the passengers to resume the flights.

NAC’s Taplejung station In-Charge Raju Karki said, “The NAC is ready to operate the flights immediately after the weather improves. But we are not getting required number of passengers to fly to Kathmandu from Taplejung.”  

He said that the NAC even cancelled its Monday’s flight as no passenger was found in Kathmandu while only two passengers were ready to fly to Kathmandu from Taplejung. 

“Now, we are thinking to operate flights if we have four/five passengers for both ways,” he said.

Stating that the passengers have not known about the resumption of the flights as they could see no plane in the sky of the district, he said that the NAC was planning to operate a few flights with a few passengers to make the people know about the resumption of flights.

The passengers of the district had stopped contacting the NAC office due to uncertainty of flights, said Kamal Prasad Bhattarai, a local of Funling Municipality-7.

He said that there would not be a shortage of passengers if the NCA operated flights in the fixed time.

He said that the NAC should also operate flight in the Taplejung-Biratnagar route.

Man Kumar Limbu of Funling Municipality-5 said that trust of passengers was low towards air service due to lack of reliable flights.