Repatriation flights continue

Kathmandu, April 8

Two repatriation flights were conducted today, evacuating more than 500 tourists stranded in Nepal during the lockdown period.

According to Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), a total of 534 tourists were evacuated today via Titan Airways and Qatar Airways.

After a long wait, Titan Airways, a British charter airline, repatriated a total of 250 British nationals today, said British Ambassador Nicola Pollitt. “The next repatriation flight will be conducted on April 10. A total of 250 seats have been booked for the second repatriation flight,” she said.

The British nationals, who have been stranded in Nepal, have been expressing their dissatisfaction via social media as the British government is taking a long time for their evacuation and not responding to the their concerns properly. Some of them had even requested the European Union to evacuate them as the EU has already conducted three repatriation flights for EU citizens.

According to NTB a large number of British nationals are still stranded outside the valley and waiting for the rescue flights of the embassy.

The embassy itself has been conducting flights to rescue British nationals so far.

Meanwhile, a Qatar Airways flight, which had been arranged by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, repatriated nearly 290 tourists today. Of them, 18 passengers were from Ukraine while others were Germans and EU citizens.

“Altogether, about 800 German tourists and foreigners permanently living in Germany as well as more than 300 European citizens have left Nepal since March 27 and headed home,” as stated by the embassy.

According to the German embassy, today’s was the last repatriation flight for Germany. Around 3,000 Germans had visited Nepal in the first three months of the year.

Issuing a statement today, German Ambassador Roland Schafer expressed his gratitude towards Nepal for taking care of German nationals during this crisis. “The stranded tourists had to rely on hotels keeping their rooms open, on restaurants giving them takeaway food, on drivers and guides taking risks to get them to Kathmandu,” the statement reads. “I am very grateful to those who did not let my fellow Germans down.”

Amid this, Japanese government has scheduled a repatriation flight on April 11 via Nepal Airlines Corporation. On the same day, Canadians will also be repatriated.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 09, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.