Flights towards high hilly districts in Karnali Province have been disrupted for the past few days. Tara Air, Summit Air and Sita Air, the airlines companies providing regular services to Humla, Mugu, Jumla and Dolpa have diverted their services to the eastern districts, causing inconveniences to the people of the remote districts in Karnali.
Though people of southern Humla have access to motor services for out-district travel, the people of Sarkegad, Kharpunath, Simkot and northern Namkha rural municipality face more problems travelling outside the districts due to the cessation of flights.
Simikot, the district headquarters of Humla, is yet to be connected with the national road network. According to Simkot Airport, it witnesses disruption of flights since Sunday and as a result, aspiring passengers have been left stranded at the airport.
Those awaiting their flight for Simikot at Nepalgunj and Surkhet complained that the flight disruption had lengthened their stay and made the travel unnecessarily expensive.
Now the services of private airlines companies have focused on tourist flights at Lukla, Pokhara and Jomsom. The people of Humla complained that they are not the priority of airline service providers during the tourist season. “They do violate the rule for at least one flight for Humla in this season.”
The state-run Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) conducts only a limited number of flights for Nepalgunj-Humla and the people accuse of ‘influence of power’ in issuing air tickets. As they claim, NAC employees in Nepalgunj are accused of favouritism to their relatives and acting upon the phone calls of people in power while distributing air tickets.