Plane crash reinforces idea of ​​Nepal as the most unsafe destination

Source: Plane crash reinforces idea of ​​Nepal as the most unsafe destination

Found on: 2023-01-16 22:30:03

(Bloomberg Opinion) — Sunday’s fatal plane crash in Nepal adds to the Himalayan country’s reputation as the world’s most dangerous place to fly.

All 68 passengers and four crew members of Yeti Airlines Flight 691 died in the disaster in Pokhara, Nepal’s second-largest city and a gateway for tourists exploring the Annapurna mountain system.

According to data from the aviation safety network, the fatal accident was the eleventh in Nepal since it was recorded. Last May alone, 22 people died when a Tara Air flight went down en route from Pokhara to the Jomsom trekking base. The latest tragedy, the deadliest since 1992, led to a spate of tourist cancellations, according to travel industry executives, costing the country vital revenue.

Nepal’s topography and weather patterns make flying more difficult than in many other places. In 2015, the United Nations-backed International Civil Aviation Organization prioritized the country for technical assistance, later saying that its “beautiful but rugged terrain makes the safety of air operations more challenging than in other areas of the world.” world”.

Nepal also has some of the most dangerous roads in the world, adding to the risk citizens and visitors face when traveling around the fast-paced nation. Tourism is a key industry, contributing nearly 7% of gross domestic product, according to the World Bank.

In 2021, nearly 150,000 foreign tourists traveled to Nepal, almost all by air, according to the latest data available on the website of the Nepal Ministry of Tourism. The busy capital Kathmandu is the main entry point for larger planes, and travelers often take smaller planes to more remote areas with eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest.

Subhash Goyal, founder and chairman of STIC Travel and Air Charter Group, one of India’s largest tourism groups, said Sunday’s accident has already had an adverse impact on demand, with 60% of Nepal bookings cancelled. , mostly by foreign visitors, especially Europeans.

The Yeti Airlines flight, which uses an ATR 72 twin-engine turboprop, took off from Kathmandu at 10:32 a.m. local time and crashed around 11 a.m. ATR is a joint venture between Airbus SE and Italy’s Leonardo SpA.

The crash killed all 53 Nepalis on board, as well as five Indians, four Russians, two Koreans and nationals from Australia, Argentina, Ireland and France, the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.

Original Note: Nepal Air Crash Adds to World’s Worst Flight-Safety Record

–With the collaboration of Anurag Kotoky, Ragini Saxena, Debjit Chakraborty and Eltaf Najafizada.

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