Five new airlines companies have been granted Air Operating Certificate, the AOC, in the past fiscal year.
The recipients include Air Nepal International, Base Air, Agni Air, Nepal Airlines and Flying Dragon Airlines, according to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the CAAN.
Of these airlines, Air Nepal International has already started flights along Kathmandu-Bangkok and Kathmandu-Kuala Lumpur routes.
Base Air has been permitted to fly to all sectors in the country, the CAAN said. Agni Air is allowed to operate mountain flights and scheduled flights on five sectors, including Biratnagar, Pokhara, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj and Janakpur.
Nepal Airlines have been granted the AOC to fly to seven sectors, which include Biratnagar, Pokhara, Nepalgunj, Lukla, Phaplu, Lamidanda and Tumlingtar. It is also permitted to operate mountain flights. Flying Dragon Airlines is required to be based in Nepalgunj.
With these, the number of airlines to acquire the AOC has so far reached 39 of which only 18 are operational.
The figure of the CAAN shows that the volume of air passengers increased by around 19 percent in 2004 as compared to the number a year earlier. Some 1.9 million people traveled by air, up from 1.6 million.
The rise in air traffic has been attributed to the frequent blockades and the perceived insecurity in land travel.
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