30 domestic flights cancelled as fog blankets TIA runway

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
30 domestic flights cancelled as fog blankets TIA runway

Nov 1, 2014-

Domestic airlines were forced to cancel at least 30 flights on Saturday morning as fog blanketed the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) runway.

Visibility on the ground was below 500 meters until 10:00 am, according to the airlines. Almost all Mountain View flights were called off due to the poor visibility, while half of the scheduled flights on the Kathmandu-Lukla sector were cancelled, they said. A few flights on the Kathmandu-Pokhara sector, among other remote sectors, were also cancelled.

Meanwhile, cracks have reoccurred on the TIA runway. The airport authority said there were few cracks on the runway due to which many domestic flights faced at least an hour’s delay on Friday morning.

According to an airline official, the runway repair work, which need to be carried out during the night time, was done in the morning, causing delays to large number of domestic flights.

Domestic carriers were forced to cancel one-third of their scheduled flights last year because of heavy rain, high winds or blinding fog, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation said. Airlines cancelled 12,675 flights, most of them due to bad weather conditions, which led to millions of losses. Of the 39,128 scheduled flights, only 26,453 took off.

Operators estimate a cancellation of a long-haul flight causes a loss of Rs 300,000 to Rs 400,000, depending on the number of passengers. On an average, a 19-seater aircraft earns $3,000 from a round trip on the Kathmandu -Lukla sector, the most lucrative sector for domestic carriers.

Published: 02-11-2014 09:40

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