Nepal and Australia sign ASA

Kathmandu, October 1

Nepal has signed its 40th air services agreement (ASA) with Australia on the occasion of the 40th assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in Montréal. The agreement was signed today between the two countries allowing each other’s airline companies for flight operation.

Suresh Acharya, joint secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) signed the agreement with the representative official of the Australian government. With this agreement, now airline companies of both countries can operate seven flights a week, said Pramod Nepal, undersecretary at MoCTCA.

“According to the agreement, Nepali airline companies have received permission to fly to four Australian cities — Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth — to operate seven flights a week, while flights to airports located in other cities are unlimited,” Nepal said.

Meanwhile, Australian airline companies can operate seven flights a week to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), while they can operate 28 flights a week to other airports. “Focusing on the under-construction airports — Gautam Buddha International Airport and Pokhara Regional International Airport — we have proposed 28 flights a week,” Nepal added. Meanwhile, there is no restriction for cargo services.

MoCTCA Undersecretary Nepal further said that designated airline companies of Nepal can use any two intermediate points in South East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East for flight operations. Likewise, any two points in New Zealand can also be used to operate flights.

Meanwhile, designated airlines of Australia can use any two intermediate points in South East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East as well as any two points beyond Nepal, except New Delhi in India, for flight operations.

A team led by Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai had departed for ICAO headquarters in Montréal in Canada on September 20 to participate in the ICAO assembly.

Nepal has already signed ASAs with a total of 39 countries across the world. However, flights are being operated to a very few destinations, including India, Dubai, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Qatar and Japan. The ASA is expected to support Nepal Airlines Corporation as it has been trying to operate direct flights to Australia since very long.

Currently, NAC, Buddha Air and Himalaya Airlines are operating international flights from and to Nepal.