New rule will grant international flight licence to domestic service providers without competition

File: A Shree Airlines aircraft

Kathmandu, August 6

The government of Nepal is revising its rule regarding providing flight licences to airline companies. It has been learned that the government is planning to give priority to the companies which are already in operation in the domestic market for international flights too.

Now, if a company has operated domestic flights for at least five years, it can get the international flight operation permit without meeting any additional requirement.

Currently, all the companies are required to participate in an open competition for the permit.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation says the revision is being made as the existing rule is not relevant and timely.

The government has targeted increasing the share of Nepali airline companies up to 60 per cent in international flights to be conducted from Nepal with the rule, an official at the Ministry informs.

As of now, three airlines from Nepal–the government-owned Nepal Airlines, Himalaya and Buddha–are operating international flights. BB Airways has acquired the permit, but has not launched the service.

Likewise, Shree Airlines has expressed its concerns for the service.

Meanwhile, the Ministry source says the government will now categorise operation licences so that companies with varying paid-up capitals can apply for different categories.

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