Kathmandu, September 7
A team of Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is visiting Nepal in mid-September to conduct safety audit of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC).
As per the previous understanding between CAAC and NAC, the Chinese team is visiting Nepal soon. The NAC is also preparing to form a committee and sub-committee to coordinate with CAAC and facilitate the safety audit.
NAC has been trying to operate scheduled flights to China since a very long time. It had asked CAAC to provide permission to operate flights to Guangzhou.
After analysing all the documents submitted by NAC, CAAC had asked to conduct a safety audit of NAC before allowing it to operate flights to China.
Citing that Nepal has been listed in air safety list of the European Union, CAAC had expressed interest to conduct a safety audit of NAC.
Meanwhile, NAC has been claiming that it is ready for the safety audit of China. However, if NAC fails the test, it won’t be allowed to fly to Guangzhou or any other city in China.
As China is the second largest market for country’s tourism industry, regular flight operation to the northern neighbour is expected to boost the tourism sector.
Passing the safety audit is also expected to bring in more Chinese tourists, thus supporting Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign.
Moreover, Nepal government recently revised the air services agreement allowing airline firms of China to increase the number of flights to Nepal.
As per the revised pact, Chinese and Nepali airline companies can operate 98 flights a week on Nepal-China route.
Currently, China has been operating 70 flights a week to Nepal. However, no Nepali carrier is flying to China at present.
Therefore, the CAAC’s go-ahead is crucial for Nepali airlines to capitalise on the revised air services agreement as well.
A version of this article appears in print on September 08, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.