Agni Air has said that it will add two small aircraft to its fleet within this year. Managing director Sudip Basnyat said his company planned to acquire two Twin Otter or Y12E aircraft, speaking at the airline’s sixth anniversary celebrations here on Thursday.
The carrier started operations in 2006 with an 18-seater Dornier, and now owns three Dornier and three Jet Stream aircraft.
Despite a slowdown in air passenger movement in 2011, Agni Air said it registered a 90 percent occupancy in the whole year. In 2011, Agni Air flew 197,346 travellers, up 2.08 percent year on year.
However, company officials said that a rise in fuel prices, landing and parking charges and insurance premiums had become a major challenge for airlines including Agni Air. According to Pramod Pandey, marketing director of Agni Air, passenger movement of domestic airlines last year was hit by a hike in airfares.
“Considering the rate of aircraft accidents in Nepal, insurance companies jacked up their premiums by 150 percent in two years,” said Pandey. “Insurance premiums will drop only when the accident rate in Nepal declines.”