According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the international passengers' movement surged by an impressive 32 per cent in the first month of the year.
Among the airline companies that are currently operating international flights from and to TIA, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) retained its top position in terms of ferrying the highest number of passengers in January. NAC had transported the most number of passengers in December also.
Following the national flag carrier, Qatar Airways and Himalaya Airlines transported the highest number of passengers in January.
As per CAAN, NAC operated a total of 178 flights in January, carrying a total of 23,459 passengers. In December last year it had carried 19,988 passengers. Similarly, Qatar Airways operated 144 flights last month and carried 16,947 passengers.
Meanwhile, Himalaya Airlines operated 163 flights with 14,591 passengers in January.
In December of last year, Qatar Airways and Himalaya Airlines had carried 14,785 passengers and 7,165 passengers, respectively.
Altogether 103,379 passengers travelled via international flights in January against 66,000 passengers in December last year.
After the government relaxed protocols for international flights, international passengers' movement has increased. CAAN has explained that the improvement in passengers' movement is quite good compared to the initial period of resumption of commercial flights.
In 2020, the number of air passengers had slumped by a staggering 72 per cent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the situation is slowly getting better, with the tourist arrivals in January also at the highest in last 10-month period.
CAAN has stated that the start of vaccination against the COVID-19 and opening of tourist activities in the country may have also encouraged more international passengers' movement.
A version of this article appears in the print on February 17, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.