Kathmandu, June 4
The Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari today directed Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) to operate regular flights to scheduled destinations even if it incurs losses in the given routes.
Citing that NAC is the sole national flag carrier of the country and is supported by the government, Adhikari directed NAC to end the trend of prioritising only those domestic and international destinations that are in high demand.
Adhikari’s direction came amid an interaction programme between stakeholders of Nepal’s aviation industry.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) is developing a roadmap for the development of Nepal’s aviation industry. The discussion programme intended to seek ways and collect inputs from stakeholders to enhance the domestic aviation sector.
“One of the measures to enhance Nepal’s aviation industry is by strengthening the capacity of NAC. Being a national flag carrier, NAC should ensure services to every destination and make its services cost-effective,” said Adhikari.
He also assured that the government will do the needful to add required number of aircraft to NAC’s fleet in the near future.
Similarly, members of the ‘think-tank’ formed by the government in April to propose the measures related to improvement in domestic civil aviation industry urged the government to address different infrastructure bottlenecks, complete construction of planned domestic and international airports on time and make necessary policy reforms to boost tourism industry of the country.
Likewise, they also stressed on the need to reduce pollution level in different cities, including Kathmandu Valley, complete road networks on time and further reduce air traffic congestion at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) to attract more foreign tourists in the country and increase their stay.
“The increasing traffic problem at TIA is one of the major factors affecting the inflow of foreign tourists in Nepal and the number of days they stay here. Though operating TIA for extended hours will slightly address the congestion issue, completion of planned international airports on time is crucial to address the issue notably,” said majority of members of the think-tank group.
Formed with the objective to utilise the expertise of various people engaged in the civil aviation industry to improve the entire aviation sector, the think-tank group comprises of former aviation secretaries, pilots and officials from MoCTCA and NAC.
A version of this article appears in print on June 05, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.