Himalaya Airlines addresses false rumors and allegations regarding airfare cartelization

15, Jul 2021 | nepaltraveller.com

Himalaya Airlines addresses misleading news reports and allegations of airfare cartelization claiming the airline is charging high airfares for Dammam flights

Nepal Traveller

Himalaya Airlines, a Nepal-China joint venture airline, has been operating two weekly flights to Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Prior to lockdown 2.0, Himalaya Airlines had been offering 10 direct flights to Dammam in Saudi Arabia since September 01, 2017. With the recent resumption of the flights, the flow of passengers flying to Damman, Saudi Arabia surged for which the airlines increased the flights to four weekly flights effective from July 11, 2021.

With regards to the current situation, the airlines claim that there have been misleading news reports and allegations across the digital news platforms, falsely accusing the airlines with airfare cartelization claiming the airline is charging high airfares for Kathmandu to Dammam flights and the stay-in quarantine facilities which were mandated by Saudi Arabia as well as Nepal government.

Himalaya Airlines addressed the rumors and allegations and clarifying the reports that were published are baseless and misconstrued without proper facts and verification. The Government of Nepal and Saudi Arabia had published mandatory regulatory guidelines which defined unavoidable fare inclusive of stay-in quarantine facilities and related COVID-19 health facilities, the airlines said.

"In compliance with the guidelines, our airline launched a bundled fare with all the essential facilities to operate flights in this sector. Our bundled fare includes airline base fare, all regulatory taxes, airport to hotel transport charges, 7 nights hotel room charges, (breakfast, lunch, dinner included), and 2 PCR tests on arrival at Dammam", the airlines said.

As per the Saudi Arabian government guidelines, individual passengers are not allowed to self-quarantine and are mandated to stay in specific quarantine facilities allocated by their government. Hence, this has led to expensive airfare costs compared to the regular unbundled fares.

For further clarification, the airlines also mentioned that the additional hotel quarantine charges for Dammam contribute 60% of the fare while the airfare contributes to only 40% of the total cost. The airlines have been ensuring free revalidation of tickets for passengers with valid return tickets for any sector and also for those who were previously unable to fly due to flight suspensions.

The airlines pointed out that some media agencies and news portals have been publishing false information amongst the public without prior verification of facts from the concerned stakeholders.

The airlines said that there had been a growing tide of false news and propaganda being spread across social media and news portals regarding the situation and the airlines requested the general public to be wary of news published by unverified sources and conclude only after validating the facts by the Airlines itself.

"We would also like to request the media industry to be more cautious and sensitive and publish only factual news considering the overall progress of the communication, information, and broadcasting industry, which should at all times benefit the public, companies, and the Government", the airlines said. 

For further information, please contact:
Brand and Service Improvement Department 
Himalaya Airlines Pvt. Ltd. 
T: +977 9851084295
E-mail: bsid@himalaya-airlines.com
Website: www.himalaya-airlines.com
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