Friday, August 21, 2020

Government to resume regular international flights from September 1

 The government has decided to resume regular international flights from September 1.

The planned commercial international flights will bring home stranded Nepali nationals abroad, informed finance minister and minister for Communication and Information Technology Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada, who is also the spokesperson of the government. 

“The cabinet meeting yesterday evening decided to resume regular international flights from September 1,” he said, adding that the regular international flights from the countries where PCR test facility is easily accessible will start immediately.

The schedules of the flights will be prepared by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA). “Those wanting to fly back home must produce a PCR test report conducted within 72 hours,” he said, adding that the government plans to bring in 500 Nepali nationals home a day. “All Nepali nationals returning home from such flights must stay in hotel quarantine for seven days upon their arrival in Kathmandu.”

The concerned airline operators should bear the cost of keeping all passengers in quarantine facilities, if passengers, who have not undergone PCR tests, are brought along with other passengers in the same flight, Dr Khatiwada added.

Earlier, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) aircraft – on Sunday – had returned empty from Dubai after the government abruptly suspended all flights on the very first day of the fifth phase of repatriation. The aircraft had carried 235 passengers and 15 tonnes of cargo from Kathmandu to Dubai, while it returned home without any passengers or cargo after the government suddenly imposed the decision on Wednesday. The passengers, who had already booked their tickets, were enraged with the government's abrupt decision after they were left stranded at the airport.

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