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European Union: Lifting ban on Nepali airlines only after the new law

Nepal-EU Joint Commission meeting in Kathmandu on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. Photo: EU in Nepal
Nepal-EU Joint Commission meeting in Kathmandu on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. Photo: EU in Nepal

Kathmandu, November 25

The European Union has clarified that it will lift the existing ban on Nepali airlines only after the country implements a new law to improve the country’s aviation safety status.

During a meeting of the Nepal-EU Joint Commission held in Kathmandu on Wednesday, Nepal had requested the EU to lift the ban on its airlines.

“The EU acknowledged the positive developments and effort made by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal and assured that a positive step will be taken in this direction once the necessary legislation is implemented,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the EU inform in a statement after the meeting.

The European Commission’s decision to blacklist the country has barred aircraft belonging to Nepali airline companies from the European skies since 2013.

Of late, the EU has demanded that the government of Nepal unbundle the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) into two units looking after regulation and management respectively.

Under pressure, the government had drafted a bill to effect unbundling in 2019. However, the bill has not been endorsed yet owing to different issues.

Meanwhile, the two sides also discussed several issues of bilateral concern, according to the statement.

The meeting was co-chaired by Nepal’s Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal and the European External Affairs Service’s Deputy Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific Paola Pampaloni.

The next Joint Commission meeting will take place in Brussels in 2022.

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