Kathmandu, January 29

Himalaya Airlines has announced it is suspending all direct flights to and from China from February 7 due to the growing impact of coronavirus in the northern neighbour.

In the wake of the recent novel coronavirus outbreak, Himalaya Airlines claimed that it has already introduced precautionary measures on its flights to contain the Wuhan pneumonia/coronavirus epidemic.

Stepping up the precautionary measures, the company has now decided to suspend flights on Nepal-China sector until further notice, informed Ujjawala Dali, head of the Department of Brand and Service Improvement.

“Flight bookings of Changsha and Guiyang airports have already been cleared, so we have cancelled flights to these destinations since last week,” said. She, however, said that five flights — three to Beijing and two to Chongqing — have to be operated at any cost as the occupancy is full.

As per Dali, the last flight to Beijing will take off from Tribhuvan International Airport on February 7, while last flight to Chongqing will be on February 6.

The flights will be suspended at least until March 28.

“If the condition comes under control in China, we may resume the flights before March 28 as well,” she said, “Otherwise, we will publish another notice regarding resumption of our flight operations to China.”

As per the notice published today, passengers can apply for free ticket alteration and cancellation on all the flights to and from China. Passengers have to contact the original ticket purchase channel and need to avail the waiver of the fees within the validity period of the ticket.

Himalaya is the first Nepali airline company to operate direct flights to China.

After switching the Chinese ownership of the company from Tibet Airlines to Tibet Civil Aviation Development and Investment Company, the Himalaya Airlines had started operating flights to China.

The company had introduced its first flight to Beijing on October 27 last year.

Likewise, the airline company inaugurated services to Guiyang and Changsha from November 19 and 20 last year. Meanwhile, flights to Chongqing were introduced from January 23.