Worry over Australian Airlines’ withdrawal from Nepal

Kathmandu, November 17:

A joint meeting of Hotel Association Nepal (HAN), Nepal Association of Tours and Travel Agents (NATTA), Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO), Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN), Thamel Tourism Development Council and Nepal Freight Forwarders Association (NEFFA) have expressed serious concerns on the decision of Austrian Airline (AA) to postpone its Nepal flight.

At a time when the tourism industry is just picking up after years of troubles, AA’s decision has added salt to the wounds of the tourism sector, says a HAN’s press statement.

Since 1998, AA started Nepal operation which has brought more than 74,000 tourists from European countries, says HAN. During that time, over 74,000 tourists spent over 800,000 nights in Nepal.

AA is the only airline to fly to Kathmandu from Europe and over 98 per cent European tourists have visited via AA.

If AA’s flights are postponed, it would have a very negative impact on Nepali tourism industry, says HAN. Given such a context, Nepal and the seven party alliances have to try to retain AA’s operation in Nepal at a time when peace is gradually being realised in the country.