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May 21, 2022

Nepal’s second international airport comes into operation

Foreign Affairs News Desk
Gautam Buddha International Airport. Photo Natikazi Maharjan
Gautam Buddha International Airport. Photo Natikazi Maharjan

Govt. waives full charges to airlines in BWA

Government of Nepal is to waive 100 percent charge on service facilities to international airlines flying at Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA). The code for the airport has been fixed as BWA.

In order to make the smooth commercial operation of GBIA that began operation from last Monday-Buddha Jayanti Day May 16. 2022, the government waived 100 per cent charges for one year on landing, parking, security and aviation assistance services etc. to the international airlines that will start their service in GBIA.

The decision will come into implementation from June 14 onwards, the GBIA authority sources said and added that “however, the airlines have to pay rent for the area they have taken to keep their offices.”

So far, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia and SriLankan Airlines have shown interest in commercial flights at the GBIA.

Inauguration

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday- Buddha Jayanti Day–May 16, 2022 inaugurated the second international airport of Nepal GBIA.

GBIA would be a destination for the Buddhists pilgrims travelers as it connects Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha and Buddhist circuits in South Asia as well as to the rest of the world.

The total cost of the airport construction is US $76.1 million. Of this, Asian Development Banks (ADB) ‘s contribution is about US $37 million in loans and grants, while the OPEC Fund for International Development contributed about US $11 million in loan. The rest is funded by the Government of Nepal.

The new airport in Bhairahawa that lies nearly 19 kilometers far from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lumbini was constructed by China’s Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group.

The GBIA has a runway of 3,000 meters facility of accommodating wide-body airplanes featuring a 15,169-square-metres terminal building.

A first for Nepal, an advanced Instrument Landing System will be used in GBIA to allow aircraft landing even in reduced visibility.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Prime Minister Deuba said “the opening of the airport is an historic day in Nepal’s aviation and tourism sectors and will contribute to the country’s overall development and prosperity in the long run.”

“The opening of the airport is a moment of pride for the country,” said Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Prem Bahadur Ale.

Jazeera offers 20% cheaper fare

Kuwaiti based Jazeera Airways who has started operating its services from GBAI offered 20 per cent cheaper fares to passengers arriving in and flying out from the airport than at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).

At present, the minimum fare for the Kathmandu-Kuwait route is NRs 33,000 around US $266. So, those flying and arriving at GIA can fly at NRs 26,400 around US $213 only as of today’s exchange rate.

Jazeera Airways has been operating its services through TIA for a couple of years. But now, Jazeera Jazeera Airways has started its regular service from GBAI last Monday that operates three flights a week from Bhairahawa to Kuwait.

Jazeera Airways operates scheduled services in the Middle East, South Asia, CIS countries and Europe.