NTB rescues 158 stranded tourists, guides from Lukla

Kathmandu, March 29

A total of 158 people including both foreigners and Nepalis have been rescued today by the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) in coordination with local governments and other stakeholders.

A total of 11 flights from Lukla landed at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) this morning carrying 88 foreigners. Likewise, 70 other Nepalis including trekking guides and other staffs related with trekking agencies have been rescued from Lukla this morning, said NTB official Sudhan Subedi.

Of the total flights four flights each were conducted by Summit Air and Tara Air while three flights were operated by Sita Air, Subedi informed. He further said four more flights to Lukla will be operated on Monday.

Along with this NTB has issued a notice today stating that all the rescue operations for international tourists have been suspended for now. “Rescue operations have been suspended in accordance with the lockdown rules introduced by Nepal government. The next rescue operation will be scheduled as per requirement upon the confirmation of next outbound flight and as per the special request of diplomatic missions only,” reads the notice.

As per Subedi, food and accommodation for all the stranded tourists are being arranged in association with the stakeholders. “Hotels and restaurants across the country are cooperating with us to facilitate the stranded tourists,” he said.

“So, considering sensitivity of the lockdown we have decided not to conduct more rescue flights unless the respective countries ensure to evacuate their nationals.”

In the last three days NTB has rescued around 1,100 tourists from Lukla and other remote areas while around 900 European tourists have been evacuated so far. After the government imposed a lockdown in the country a large number of tourists had been stranded in Nepal.

Tourists seeking support from the Nepal government can log in to strandedinnepal.com, a website established by NTB to contact all the stranded tourists.