Let’s hope so

The government’s decision to relax provisions for the international airlines in a bid to boost tourist arrivals in autumn this year is good news for the tourism industry. This relaxation will, in turn, help the national economy which has witnessed low economic activity in the past several years, particularly a perceptible decline in the number of tourists visiting Nepal due to continuing political unrest. The government, encouraged by a 35.6 per cent rise in tourist arrivals in the first seven months of this year, appears to have formulated flexible provisions for the international airlines flying to Nepal which includes choice of the type of aircraft, seasonal charters and number of additional flights.

According to a decision of the ministry of culture, tourism and civil aviation (MoCTCA), international airlines currently flying to Nepal could operate four more flights a week from September 1 till December 31. Ironically, while foreign airlines such as Thai Airways, Qatar Airways and China Southern Airlines have sought the official nod to increase the number of flights, the government has yet to take action on their requests. Sadly, Nepal’s only national flag carrier, Nepal Airlines, has, instead of spreading its wings, has had them clipped due to mismanagement and lack of proper government supervision. The various destinations it is authorised to fly to have been used by foreign airlines and making a hefty profit. The NA management and government leaders seem busy finding scapegoats, instead of taking solid steps to turn it around for far too long.