Domestic flights from tomorrow in Nepal


The government has decided to allow domestic airlines to operate flights to all destinations across the country from Thursday.

Even though the government had announced that resumption of domestic flights would commence from the hilly and mountainous regions that had been less affected due to the COVID crisis, a meeting held today at the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal decided to open all destinations for domestic airlines.

The meeting held today was attended by CAAN officials and domestic airline operators.

“Considering the public demand, the meeting has decided to open all the destinations for domestic sector. Now, it depends on the airline companies which destinations they want to fly,” said Raj Kumar Chhetri, spokesperson for CAAN.

According to him, airlines have been requested to begin submitting their applications for the desired destinations and CAAN will issue permission for flight operation.

However, airline operators can operate only 30 per cent of their earlier slots. CAAN has requested airline operators to prepare their schedules accordingly, he added. “CAAN has completed all necessary preparations from its side for domestic flights to resume. All the health safety protocols will be implemented,” he said.

Pradip Gyawali, the spokesperson for the government, announced today that domestic flight operation would resume from September 17. The resumption date has been advanced from September 21 decided in the Cabinet meeting held yesterday. Based on the earlier decision, airline companies had also issued a notice to passengers for flight booking.

Issuing a notice today, Yeti Airlines announced ticket booking for flights scheduled for September 17. Buddha Air, on the other hand, has issued a notice stating they will soon publish a new schedule, while Shree Airlines will open bookings from Wednesday.

Earlier, the government had announced it would allow resumption of both domestic and international flights from September 1. However, it allowed resumption of only international flights on the given date and that too by limiting the number of flights while extending suspension of domestic flights till September 15. After that Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai had said that the government was planning to extend suspension of flights by another 15 days. He had also said that in the initial phase of flight resumption, only a few destinations would be open.

Gyawali also announced today that expedition activities would commence from October 17.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 16, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.