Kolkata: Even as airport congestion due to quake relief operations is causing flight delays to and from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, flight operations between India and its Himalayan neighbour is heading towards normalcy again, operators said on Wednesday. “The situation is slowly improving and returning to normalcy. Flights are operating as per schedule and at the moment, there is no need for emergency flights,” an official with Air India told IANS.
A member of the Star Alliance, Air India operated two additional flight – one each from Delhi and Kolkata – shortly after the disaster hit Nepal on Saturday. “Today there is no scheduled flights to Kathmandu but for other days when we have flights, it is on schedule,” he said.
Private airlines companies Jet Airways and IndiGo said congestion in Kathmandu airport is resulting in flight delays and work was in progress to take on the challenge. “Due to relief efforts in Kathmandu, there is a resultant congestion at Kathmandu airport, especially with regard to parking bays,” an official with Jet Airways told IANS. An official of IndiGo, which is operating special rescue flights in addition to the scheduled departures, told IANS in a mail: “Fuel shortage and long delays due to congestion at Kathmandu airport is hampering flight operations.”
While all carriers from India are operating special flights to Kathmandu to help in rescue operations, the companies reported services were heading towards normalcy. IndiGo on Wednesday operated two flights to Nepal, including a relief flight, while Jet Airways flew two from Delhi and one from Mumbai. “Operations are being normalised… On May 3, we will review the situation and take a call on continuing with the third relief flight,” an official in SpiceJet told IANS.
Besides, the aircraft operators are also offering waiver of cancellation charges and charging the minimum possible fares in addition to carrying relief cargo in the plane’s belly. “To extend all possible support, we also authorized waiver of cancellation charges for a week on flights to and from Kathmandu and have also brought some customers without any charge,” the SpiceJet official said.
Jet Airways said it would waive all cancellation and rescheduling charges on confirmed tickets for travel to and from Kathmandu as well as “waive off freight charges for shipment of relief material on board its flights to Kathmandu”.
From the day the calamity struck Nepal, SpiceJet flew 1,100 people from Kathmandu. IndiGo flew out 1,200 people from the quake affected country while Jet Airways evacuated another 1,000.