UK repatriates over 200 nationals from Nepal

Kathmandu, April 17

The United Kingdom conducted its third repatriation flight today to evacuate 200 of its nationals who were stranded in Nepal after the countrywide lockdown was imposed by the government.

As per the British Embassy, Titan Airways, a British charter airline company, conducted the repatriation flight which was the final repatriation flight organised by the British Embassy. A total of 700 British nationals have been repatriated from Nepal so far.

Along with this, a total of 34 international flights have been conducted till today after the government imposed the lockdown. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), of the 34 flights, 30 were repatriation flights while four were cargo flights.

Out of the total flights, Qatar Airways conducted 10 flights, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) conducted eight flights, Korean Air conducted two flights, while Titan Airways conducted three flights. Meanwhile, Etihad, Czech Airline, Malindo Air, Malaysian Airlines, Air Arabia, Shree Airlines and Buddha Air conducted one repatriation flight each, respectively.

Towards cargo, Shree Airlines has conducted one cargo flight while NAC has conducted three such flights. NAC conducted its first cargo flight on April 3. The other two cargo flights had departed for Guangzhou in China on Thursday and returned today carrying medicines.

Meanwhile, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) issued a notice on Thursday to national governments advising all to ease international flights for repatriation purposes. As lots of nationals have been stranded across various countries due to the travel bans and lockdowns, ICAO has requested its member countries to coordinate with each other for repatriation flights.

“This would ensure that necessary authorisations for the entry, departure and transit of aircraft carrying out such flights whether as state flights, humanitarian flights or chartered commercial flights, are granted expeditiously,” reads the notice.

The notice also states of the obligations of countries with respect to the privilege of foreign aircraft engaged in non-scheduled commercial flights to carry passengers to/from their territories, and it also called on them to review their authorisation procedures and ensure speedy approvals.