Kathmandu, September 15
Although the government has decided to resume domestic flights and long-haul public bus services across the country from Monday next week, the flight resumption will not be fully-fledged.
The flights are suspended since March in the government’s bid to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Raj Kumar Chhetri, deputy director-general of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, says the regulator body is waiting for the government’s clear directive on which destinations are open for flights.
“After we receive a notice, we will issue permits to the airline companies,” he says, clarifying the 100 per cent resumption of the flights is not possible right now.
“Most probably, one third of the flights will open in the first phase.”
Meanwhile, airline companies are preparing to open bookings for the flights from/to allowed locations from this Thursday. If the government does not finalise the list of destinations by then, the companies will finalise the list on their own and begin selling tickets, according to an airline company operator.
“If the bus service reopens across the country, for example from Kathmandu to Terai and vice versa, there is no logic in restricting flights there,” the operator says.
Recently, Aviation Minister Yogesh Bhattarai, however, had said only the flights from and to mountainous and hilly districts would reopen in the first phase.