The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN)’s revenue collection in the past two years dropped significantly due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), the country’s sole international airport, recorded a significant fall in the number of passengers since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Tourism and civil aviation are some of the sectors hard-hit by the pandemic. CAAN, the regulatory body of the avian sector, said it recorded a major fall in its income in the past two consecutive years. Its income went down by 43 per cent in the first year of the COVID-19 outbreak and the figure rose to 72 per cent in the following year.
According to CAAN’s annual progress report for the fiscal year 2077/78 BS (2020-21), its income decreased by 43 per cent than the projected income of Rs 10.544 billion of the previous year and it further decreased to 72 per cent in the following year.
The COVID-19 crisis seen since the beginning of 2020 had adversely affected projects and programmes funded by the CAAN last fiscal year.
Construction of many airport infrastructure development projects with investments of the Government of Nepal and donor agencies have been affected due to ongoing COVID-19 and prohibition orders, according to the report.
The infection has taken its toll most on air transport. The year 2020 witnessed a 73.27 per cent fall in air passengers in international flights as compared to 2019. In 2019, over 4.1 million passengers took international flights as opposed to over 1.1 million in 2020.
Likewise, in 2020, more than 1.2 million passengers took domestic flights as compared to over 3.1 million in 2019. The figure in 2020 is a 59.46 per cent drop than in 2019.