Flights from SAARC countries unlikely even if airport reopens on August 17

The international terminal of Tribhuvan International Airport is ready for operation after the lockdown, with ‘social-distance marks’.

Kathmandu, August 9

The government of Nepal has decided to lift the suspension imposed on international and domestic flights on August 17. However, its implementation is uncertain as the risk of Covid-19 outbreak has increased in the country, and in Kathmandu in particular.

Even if Nepal’s only international airport in Kathmandu will reopen that day, it will not see flights from and to the SAARC countries including India anytime soon as the countries are hit hard by the infection, according to officials.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation is preparing to conduct around one dozen flights only every day, according to an official. “If the Covid-19 Crisis Management Centre agrees on our proposal, we will conduct some flights,” the source says, “If it thinks the risk is still high, there will not be any flights.”

Meanwhile, on the domestic side, the ministry has proposed continuing suspension on flights to and from districts of southern plains as the infection rate is comparatively high there.

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