Nepal Airlines has said it will fly to Osaka’s Kansai International Airport as scheduled on August 29, and that while it may be worried about lack of passengers, is optimistic the numbers will pick up.
Fending off accusations of low occupancy on its first flight after more than a decade, Executive Director of NAC, Madan Kharel said there is no point in criticising the national flag carrier as no airline company receives full-seat occupancy in its first flight.
Abysmal bookings (less than 40% both ways) in a wide-bodied aircraft which can ferry 274 passengers, however suggests the airlines needs more than ‘optimism’, and probably a better marketing strategy. They tried lowering their rates as an introductory offer, that too has not proven effective, urging the corporation to explore other marketing strategies. Experts suggest NAC should concentrate on bettering their service and improve reliability, while keeping their prices competitive to gain the trust of the consumer.
NAC plans to maintain three flights to Osaka in a week – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The corporation has said they expect the numbers to pick up, and are targeting 80% occupancy within a year.
Earlier, Nepal Airlines would fly twice a week to Osaka – from 1994 to 2007. The route was discontinued owing to several factors – inefficient management and declining passengers being the two important determinants. NAC is determined such a situation will not re-occur.