October 20, Kathmandu: India has opened an international airport in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, targeting Lumbini in Nepal.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the airport operation will connect the Buddhist circuit area and fly from Kushinagar to East Asian countries.
India has completed the construction of the terminal building to serve 300 passengers per hour in just five months.
The future of Nepal’s Gautam Buddha International Airport is in doubt as India has brought Nepal’s border airport into operation. The construction work of Gautam Buddha International Airport in Lumbini, Nepal has reached the final stage.
The Gautam Buddha Airport, which was targeted at the market, has been brought into operation by India targeting the same market.
Nepal is also aiming to fly from Gautam Buddha International Airport to Buddhist countries like Myanmar and Thailand.
With the opening of Kushinagar Airport, India has also set a target of flying to the same country. Ambassadors of Thailand and Sri Lanka were also present when the Indian Prime Minister inaugurated Kushinagar Airport.
The nearest Buddhist shrine from Kushinagar is Lumbini Which is 150 kilometers from the road Kapilvastu is 160 km, Sarnath is 233 km and Bodh Gaya is 326 km.
Former Tourism Secretary Shankar Adhikari says India’s Kushinagar Airport will affect the Lumbini Airport market.
The official said that Bhairahawa airport would be cheaper to operate from the Simara air route while India was delaying the air route to Nepal.’The entry air route now is Simara only.
Officials say the biggest issue for the operation of the airport will be marketing and operation.