KATHMANDU: “Ours was the only country charging airfares in dollars but with the new regulation of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), we too will be adopting with the international norm of using our currency in airfare tickets,” said Ram Kaji Koney, president of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA), during a press meet here on Thursday.
According to the NRB regulation, from July 1 all the registered international airlines and cargo and courier agencies will have to take their service charges in Nepali rupees (NRs). The repatriation of sale made in NRs should also be done in NRs while repatriation of sale made in foreign currency should be done in foreign currency. The required repatriation amount will be granted by the related commercial bank according to foreign exchange rates.
The service provided by Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), ground handling agent, catering company/agents, and other service providers at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) such as take off/on, navigation, housing, ground housing, catering, fuelling should use the current day exchange rate while presenting their bills in both in NRs and foreign currency.
“Airfares in foreign currency was a chronic problem due to which Nepali currency was always devalued but now we are content with the circular,” said Koney. Though its implementation will be from July 1, there will be prior planning regarding implementation process, Koney said adding that now the process will be simplified and they won’t have to go NRB. The processing can be done by commercial banks here. The NRB regulation came due to NATTA’s year-long efforts to have air ticckets charged in Nepali currency. Earlier, except Nepal Airlines all the foreign airlines used to charge airfares in dollars. “We were trying to get the issue of charging airfares of foreign airlines in Nepali currency settled but it took time due to lack of coordination. Travel agents used to bear huge losses due to the fluctuating price of the dollar,” Koney said.
“NRB being the authorized body helped coordinate with Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), and Board of Airlines Nepal (BARN),” said Koney. He added that now they would not have to face loss due to dollar value fluctuations.