December 5: The aviation industry of Nepal is seeing a surge in the number of helicopters for the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign. Private companies are competing with each others to add new choppers to facilitate tourists for the ambitious scheme announced by the government.
Simrik Air will be adding two more helicopters to its fleet within the next two months while Altitude Air also plans to increase the number of helicopters by 2020.
Kailash Helicopter and Manang Air have already added one new helicopter this year. It has been just one month since Manang Air added a new helicopter while Kailash Helicopter has been operating the new chopper since the last six months.
Helicopters are mostly used for chartered flights instead of the regular flights. There are altogether 10 companies with 30 helicopters operating flights in Nepal.
General Manager of Simrik Air, Prem Thapa, said they are currently operating with five helicopters. He also confirmed that they are about to add two more choppers to the fleet soon.
According to Thapa, they are adding new helicopters to facilitate tourists during the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign as well as for rescue and cargo flights.
Chairman of Altitude Air Furba Sherpa said that the company is preparing to purchase a new helicopter in 2020. The company has two helicopters at present.
Sherpa said there is stiff competition among air service providers and the operators are currently holding discussions on how to provide commercial service cordially and effectively.
“This profession is very risky and the competition has increased with the addition of more helicopters,” said Sherpa, adding, “There is a need for cooperation and discussions among the stakeholders for proper management of helicopter service.”
Meanwhile, General Manager of Kailash Helicopter Pratap Jung Pandey said his company added a new helicopter especially for the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign.