Friday, November 13, 2020

Airline operators take strong exception to another lockdown preparation

 The airline operators asked the government not to impose the lockdown again.

Issuing a press note today, Airline Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) asked the government not to impose lockdown as the Valley Municipal Forum yesterday recommended government to impose another lockdown to contain the coronavirus spread. “Another lockdown will lead to an economic disaster,” the press note reads, adding that the economy that has hit hard due to six month long lockdown has slowly been reviving.

The government, though has not spelled its intention, the Mayors yesterday recommended to impose the third phase of lockdown in the Valley after Tihar and Chhath festivals to contain the rising Covid-19 infection.

The number of infected people rose at a rapid pace even during the strict lockdowns,” the AOAN press note reads, adding that many countries in the world have proved that Covid-19 can be controlled by following health and safety measures. “It is not appropriate to bring tourism, transportation, aviation and other businesses to a halt.”

The decision to impose a lockdown will result in job losses for thousands and livelihoods for those who rely on aviation industry apart from loss of airlines companies, which have already suffered losses worth around Rs 6 billion, the press note further reads.

The airliner operators have also praised the decision of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to reopen the country for international tourists. “The travel agencies are already taking bookings for holiday packages and trekking bookings,” the press note reads, adding that it should not be stopped. “However, the government must strictly enforce the health and safety measures and protocols like use of face masks and social distancing.”

“The airliners also have a huge reservation toward imposing another lockdown,” the press note reads.

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