Govt to let domestic flights carry passengers at full capacity; bus operators demand same

Representative file image

Kathmandu, September 20

After airline companies denied operating aircraft with the passengers up to half the capacity, the government has withdrawn its decision made to maintain ‘physical distancing’ while flying so as to avoid the risk of coronavirus infection.

Now, as the domestic flight service reopens from Monday, the companies can sell the tickets for all of its seats as usual.

Earlier, the government had decided to restrict the number of passengers to 50 per cent of the capacity, allowing the operators to charge 50 per cent extra on fares. Now, both the passenger capacity and fare are as usual.

Nevertheless, the airlines are required to follow all other security measures against the infection, according to an official at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.

The government had allowed the companies to operate flights from Thursday last week, but the companies were reluctant, arguing the half capacity could not give them profits.

Transport entrepreneurs demand ‘equality’

Meanwhile, after the deal between the government and airline companies, transport entrepreneurs have also demanded that they are allowed to carry passengers at full capacity.

Currently, both long- and short-route vehicles have been carrying only half of capacity.

“If the distance is not required between passengers on flights, why should we follow that rule,” Federation of Nepali National Transport Entrepreneurs’ General Secretary Saroj Sitaula questions, “We are ready to follow whatever other standards have been set for flights.”

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