Hong Kong suspends Nepal Airlines flights for two weeks


Hong Kong has suspended Nepal Airlines Corporation’s flights for two weeks after passengers travelling from Nepal to Hong Kong tested positive for COVID-19. Five passengers who had departed for Hong Kong via NAC on October 3 have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, the national flag carrier claimed that all five of them had submitted negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction test) reports while boarding the flight.

As per the government’s rule, passengers have to submit negative PCR report of a test conducted not more than 72 hours before boarding a flight. “The passengers had submitted negative reports. But during tests conducted at the Hong Kong airport they were diagnosed with COVID-19, prompting the Hong Kong civil aviation authority to temporarily suspend NAC’s flights,” said an official from NAC seeking anonymity.

The civil aviation regulator of Hong Kong has suspended NAC flights from October 4 to 17 for carrying passengers infected with COVID-19. Hong Kong authority informed NAC about the suspension today. According to the NAC official, NAC had scheduled two flights from Kathmandu to Hong Kong during the suspension period. Both the flights stand cancelled.

The official added that the national flag carrier had to suffer due to the carelessness of the concerned passengers.

“After having conducted their PCR test, people are supposed to remain isolated and not come in contact with anybody but most of them tend to flout this protocol. This could be the reason why such a situation has occurred,” the official said. “Those five passengers must have come in contact with an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient after their PCR test was conducted,” he added.

According to the official, NAC’s country manager for Hong Kong is investigating the issue. All the five passengers have been admitted to a hospital in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, NAC is also conducting an investigation in Nepal to find out whose mistake led to this situation, said Sushil Ghimire, executive director of NAC.

During the lockdown period, the national flag carrier had been operating chartered flights to Hong Kong and after the lockdown was lifted NAC has been operating regular commercial flights to the destination.