Airline operators suspend all regular domestic flights on Local Election Day


In bid to facilitate international air travellers scheduled to arrive and leave the country on May 13, the Kathmandu District Administration Office, in recommendation from the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), will be issuing special vehicle passes for movement of tourists between the airport and hotels.

The local level elections are scheduled to be held in the country on Friday.

Issuing a notice, the NTB has stated that only tourist vehicles with green number plates will be allowed to operate, and has requested the affected tourists to immediately submit their application comprising necessary details to their travel agencies. "The travel agencies are requested to compile all the details and forward the same to NTB no later than 4:00pm on May 9," the notice states. "The deadline for NTB to submit the compiled list to the Kathmandu DAO is 5:00pm the same day."

According to the notice, the passengers will have to carry a valid air ticket and passport while commuting.

Moreover, NTB will also arrange shuttle bus services in the coordination with the Tourism Police, Nepal Tourist Vehicle Association (NTVA), Tourist Bus Association of Nepal (TBAN) on the election day. However, NTB has stated

that the route will be determined later.

Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Spokesperson Teknath Sitaula had earlier informed that the TIA had held discussions with the NTB and Hotel Association Nepal (HAN) regarding facilitating international travellers as all public and private transportation except for emergencies will be barred until the polling is over on Friday. According to Sitaula, 32 international flights are scheduled for Friday.

Meanwhile, the domestic airlines have announced that all regular domestic flights for May 13 have been suspended in accordance with Standard Related to Vehicular Movement on Voting Day, Local Level Member Election 2022 issued by Election Commission.

The Association of Airlines Operators (AOAN), the umbrella organisation of private airlines operators, issued a notice in this regard today stating only flights for humanitarian rescue, support flights and the flights to be operated under the government's directives will be operated on May 13.

According to TIA, an average of around 320 domestic flights are operated on a daily basis since the operation hours of seven airports in Tarai were extended to 18 hours.

The association has apologised to the affected passengers for the inconvenience caused due to suspension of flights on Friday.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 09, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.