Airlines demand domestic flights reopen, but the govt is indecisive

File image: Domestic terminal of the Tribhuvan International Airport
File image: Domestic terminal of the Tribhuvan International Airport

Kathmandu, June 13

Major airline companies of the country have demanded that domestic flights suspended since the first week of May due to the Covid-19 pandemic reopen as soon as possible. However, the government has not thought of reopening these flights anytime soon.

Although the suspension imposed on international flights is gradually being lifted with regular flights operating to four destinations from Kathmandu currently, the domestic flights will remain suspended until the next notice.

Recently, a group of airline businesspersons have asked officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the country’s civil aviation regulator, to reopen the flights from this Tuesday. In response, the CAAN officials also told them that they agreed on the demand, but maintained they could not make any decision in this regard immediately.

“Yes, just stopping the flights won’t solve the problem,” CAAN Deputy Director-General Raj Kumar Chhetri says, “We have also suggested the reopening while maintaining safety standards.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation says the Covid-19 Crisis Management Centre and the cabinet have to make a decision on this issue.

“We cannot make any decision about this. We are waiting for the CCMC and the cabinet,” the ministry’s Joint Secretary Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane says.

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