Nepal | September 29, 2020

Airlines seek permission to resume flights

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Airline companies have to resubmit their proposal for slots if flight operations are halted for more than 60 days

Kathmandu, August 3

The government’s decision to resume domestic and international flights from August 17 has prompted airline companies to start submitting their proposals to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, seeking permission for flight operations.

According to Raj Kumar Chhetri, spokesperson for CAAN, a total of 12 airline companies, including two Nepali airlines, have submitted proposals for slots.

“Generally, airline companies have to resubmit their proposal for slots if flight operations are halted for more than 60 days,” he said, “Hence, international companies are applying to get their slots to resume flight operations from and to Nepal.”

Chhetri added that besides Nepal Airlines Corporation and Himalaya Airlines, Indigo Air of India, Air China and China Southern of China, SalamAir of Oman, Jazeera Airways of Kuwait, Fly Dubai and Air Arabia of the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia Air and Malindo Air of Malaysia and Turkish Airlines of Turkey have so far submitted their applications to CAAN, seeking slots.

According to him, Malindo Air has submitted an application to operate 15 flights a week, Malaysia Air and Air Arabia have sought permission for five flights a week, Fly Dubai, SalamAir and Indigo have applied for seven flights a week, Turkish Air has sought permission for six flights a week, Jazeera Airways has applied for two flights a week, while Air China and China Southern wish to fly once a week to Nepal.

NAC, on the other hand, has applied for 54 flights a week to five destinations and Himalaya Airlines has sought permission to operate 21 flights a week to five destinations.

“However, we are still working on the nitty gritty of providing permission for flight operations,” Chhetri said, adding, “Destinations that are less affected by COVID-19 will be higher on our priority list while permitting flight operations.”

Before the pandemic struck, around 100 international flights were being conducted daily via Tribhuvan International Airport.

The flights will be resumed on the bases of COVID-19 protocols prepared by CAAN, World Health Organisation and International Civil Aviation Organisation, he added.

He added that domestic airline companies were also submitting their applications for slots. “We are receiving applications daily and expect the numbers to rise in the coming days,” he said, adding, “Permission will be granted on priority basis.”

Before the pandemic struck, around 100 international flights were being conducted daily via Tribhuvan International Airport.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 4, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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