Nepal fuel shortage delays flights to India

The fuel shortage in Nepal due to the economic blockade in the country has impacted flights to India as well with the Kathmandu-Mumbai direct flight making a stopover at the Varanasi airport to refuel for its onward journey to Mumbai. A Jet Airways flight between these two cities has been making a stopover in Varanasi since October 5, 2015, to refuel, which has increased the flight time from 2 hours and 50 minutes to 4 hours. "It is rarely that one gets fuel at Kathmandu airport these days, leading to a situation where flights do not have enough fuel to return to Mumbai. The flights have to make a stopover," said a person aware of the matter. Jet Airways operates the Mumbai-Kathmandu flight on a Boeing 737 and it takes the aircraft 45 minutes to reach Varanasi from Kathmandu. While the amount of fuel carried by an aircraft is dependent on payload and weather conditions, there is a standard global norm for fuel an aircraft should have extra. The blockade on the Nepal side is put up by the Madhesis, who want proper representation in the constitution. Due to the blockade, Indian trucks are scared of crossing the border, which has led to shortage in the Himalayan state. Nepal depends entirely on India for fuel and most of its food and medicinal supplies. Courtesy: The Economic Times

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