Although some airlines with smaller aircraft have agreed to limit passenger capacity to 50% if fuel costs are lowered, Buddha Air maintains that it still needs to also increase fares.
“We cannot reduce passengers by half and still have 100% of the expenses of running an airline,” Buddha Air’s Rupesh Joshi told Nepali Times. “We will insist on flying with full capacity, as per ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) guidelines which do not insist on reducing the number of passenger carried.”
Thursday’s dress rehearsal appeared to be an attempt by the carrier to show that with all precautions in place, it can fly a full load of passengers adhering to health protocols, and reduce the risk of spreading the infection.
The domestic terminal has also been fitted with health safety signs, and passengers have to wait at designated spots during check-in and security check maintaining physical separation.