Airlines operators again on war path, warn to halt flights nationwide

war path
A tour operator with a black band on her arm while working at an office, Monday. Photo courtesy to facebook.

KATHMANDU, Nepal-The Airline Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN), the apex body of the private airline operators, have reviewed their warning to suspend the flights across the country if the concerned authority did not roll-back the price or make a scientific hike of fuel.

AOAN is on war path against the government after the state-owned oil monopoly, the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), has revised the price of the ATF twice in a month.

Airlines officials said that the aviation turbine fuel (ATF) price has increased by 14.16 percent, to Rs 137 per litre, within a month while the price was Rs 100 per litre in January last year despite the fact that NOC gets a profit of Rs 27.51 per litre of ATF sold to domestic carriers.

Ghanshyam Acharya, spokesperson of the AOAN said they would wait for the concerned authorities to address their problem until Tuesday, before going forward with further protests.

The operators are scheduled to work with black bands on their arms for a half day on Wednesday, and a full day on Thursday as a part of protest.  Acharya further told that they would step up severe protest, if their demand were not meet.

In the meantime, employees and executives across all airlines wore a black arm band while at their place of work for two hours on Monday, as a symbolic protest against the ATF price hike.

Operators complained that impact of the steep hike in the ATF prices has made their operational costs high.

As a burden, fuel price hikes are directly passed onto travelers in the form of a fuel-surcharge, in the last one and half years, airfares have soared by an additional Rs 2,500 on long-haul routes and Rs 1,000-1,200 on short-haul sectors.

Due to hike in fuel prices, the number of air travellers decreasing. Meanwhile, domestic airport counters were tagged with a message — why is the burden of increased fuel price passed onto air travelers only?



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