/ Baggage on Twin Otter flights in Nepal restricted to 15Kg

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Indications are that airlines in Nepal are going to restrict baggage allowance on Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) flights to 15Kg per person (i.e. all flights to mountain runways). We've heard this today from Tara Airlines. Not sure when it's going to come into force. Not great if you're going mountaineering.
Ed Douglas - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe: 15kg is already the limit, I think? Perhaps they mean they intend to enforce it. Their passenger weight calculations are also out of date. 75kg for adult males? And given that most people carry way more than the hand luggage allowance, I bet that's going to get tighter too.

The EU's aviation safety authority is rumoured to be considering putting some Nepali domestic airlines on its blacklist. Maybe this is a response.
In reply to Ed Douglas:

> (In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe) 15kg is already the limit, I think? Perhaps they mean they intend to enforce it.

Yes, exactly. No more excess baggage charges for being overweight - you just won't be able to take any more than 15Kg. Presumably they'll put on separate cargo flights.
Damo on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe:
> (In reply to Ed Douglas)
>
No more excess baggage charges for being overweight - you just won't be able to take any more

Ah, that is a bummer. The allowance was always low but the xs charges so cheap it didn't matter that much. I flew Jomson-Pokhara with around 30kg and it cost about $20 a few years back.

I can't imagine xs baggage is any more a safety threat than bad weather, bad pilots and bad maintenance.
In reply to Damo:
> (In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe)
> [...]
> I can't imagine xs baggage is any more a safety threat than bad weather, bad pilots and bad maintenance.

Tara Air and its sister airline, Yeti are the biggest domestic airline in Nepal, operating more than half of all flights to mountain runways. During the trekking season, Tara operates as many as 25 flights a day between Kathmandu and Lukla, accounting for over 64,000 passenger-journeys annually. We visited Tara in October last year to discuss flight safety. They have been subjected to a recent “operational and technical” audit by one of the world’s biggest travel companies (who operate more than 240 travel brands, including its own airline, and serving more than 30 million customers). Following a “good on-site audit” by their team, the company confirmed Tara Air and Yeti Airlines to be on their approved list of air carriers.

Since the 2008 crash at Lukla (which was a Yeti plane), Tara/Yeti are now equipped with a GPS-based terrain alert system.

Not that the above is a guarantee of safety when flying in the Himalaya.
Neil Williams - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Ed Douglas:

"75kg for adult males"

Still used for lifts I think, in work there's a very small lift that claims it's for 4 people and you can barely fit 2 in, and it quotes I think 300kg for those 4. Might well be right on average, though, I have friends who are half my (18st = about 110kg I think) weight and don't know many people who are heavier.

Neil
Ed Douglas - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe: Buddha are bigger than Tara/Yeti although they don't have any STOL aircraft. They were planning on buying the new version of the Twin Otter (hooray) but have now given up on those plans (boo).

Here's a poem I wrote while flying to Simikot from Nepalgunj last year.

I hope my Tara pilot
Is an expert at his art
That his life is full of meaning
That he has a loving heart
That his girl has not just left him
That his plane won't fall apart.

Couldn't fit baggage allowance into that tho'.
abseil on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Ed Douglas:
> Couldn't fit baggage allowance into that tho'.

I hope my Tara pilot
Is an expert at his art
That his life is full of meaning
And that he has a leaning
To accept 25 kilos of baggage.

(Problem solved)
In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe:

It now appears that you will be able to pay for excess baggage, if you carry more than 15Kg. The change is that the 15Kg 'limit' will now include hand baggage... so in other words, the excess baggage charges will kick in earlier.

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