At a time when former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal is stressing to build Nijgadh International Aiprot, Bhairahawa's Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) is once again without international flights.
Following the suspension of flight by Jazeera Airways, the airport does not have any international flight. The Kuwaiti carrier was the only international airline that operated flights to and from the airport. It used to operate three weekly flights between Kuwait and Bhairahawa. However, it suspended these flights last week citing "commercial reasons".
This is the second time in less than a year that Jazeera has stopped its flights to and from Bhairahawa. The first time was in December last year when it chose not to fly to the airport for three months. Himalaya Airlines, a Nepal-China joint venture, also flew to and from GBIA only for two months before deciding to stop.
The airport was inaugurated as Nepal's second international airport on May 16, 2022, and Jazeera was the airliner that performed the inaugural flight. But the irregularity of its flights, coupled with the lack of interest shown by other carriers in flying to the airport, has alarmed and worried local businesses, especially those in the travel and hospitality business.