Nepalese airline Buddha Air flies passengers to wrong airport

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Passengers on the Buddha Air ATR72-500 flight U4 505 (reg. 9N-AMY) from Kathmandu Tribhuwan International Airport to Janakpur, Nepal, had a big surprise on Friday, 18 December. Instead of landing as planned in Janakpur in the south of the country, they ended up in Pohara, the second-largest city in the country, more than 400 kilometres from their intended destination.

The 69 travellers did eventually reach Janakpur, CNN reports. Because the airline, once aware of its mistake, chartered a flight to the city, with special permission to perform a direct flight.

Astha Basnet, an executive officer of Buddha Air, told CNN that the error was related to “communication failures and failure to follow standard operating procedures.” The American channel also reports that during the winter, many Nepalese airports close, causing some confusion.

Buddha Air crews will also need to undergo additional training to prevent this kind of incident from happening again, said Astha Basnet.

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