Highest number of Nepalis, 11 bodies brought back

Both NAC and Himalaya Airlines had revised their flight schedules over air fare

Kathmandu, June 20

Under the government’s repatriation flights, a total of 1,186 Nepalis arrived today — the highest number in a single day since the government started repatriating stranded citizens last week.

Nepal Airlines Corporation also brought back 11 bodies along with 245 Nepali migrant workers on the same flight from Malaysia today.

Among the people evacuated today, NAC brought back 239 Nepalis from Japan, while Himalaya Airlines repatriated 155 people from Bangladesh. Likewise, 228 passengers were repatriated from South Korea via Korean Air and 150 Nepalis were brought home from Kuwait via Jazeera Airways.

Meanwhile, Air Arabia repatriated 169 Nepalis from the United Arab Emirates.

The government had started evacuating Nepalis stranded in different countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic from June 11.

Earlier, the government had set a flight schedule for NAC and Himalaya Airlines, but both the airline companies revised their flight schedules after the government allowed foreign airline companies to operate repatriation flights.

Citing airfare issues, several NAC and Himalaya Airline flights had been cancelled prior to this. NAC had cancelled its flight to Kuwait scheduled for today citing a request from the Nepali Embassy located in Kuwait.

The government has prioritised workers granted general amnesty after their visas expired, those who have lost their jobs or have health issues, pregnant women, children and senior citizens who had travelled abroad for family get-togethers.

Amid this, an NAC aircraft departed for the UAE and a Himalaya Airlines flight left for Qatar today to bring back stranded Nepalis from the respective countries.

Both the flights will return on Sunday. Meanwhile, Korean Air carried 233 Nepali workers from here to South Korea today and Qatar Airways left for Doha carrying 286 passengers, including 14 children.

Meanwhile, three domestic flights also took off today. As per TIA, Sita Air left for Simikot carrying 14 passengers, Manang Air departed for Surke carrying two passengers and a Simrik Air chopper rescued a patient and brought along two other passengers from Bhairahawa today.

The government has extended flight restriction till July 5, yet rescue and emergency flights are being conducted with special references from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal and the authorities concerned.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 21, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.