KATHMANDU, AUGUST 12
Airline Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) has threatened to protest if the government does not resume flights even on September 1.
Earlier, the government had announced that domestic and international flights would be resumed from August 17. However, a Cabinet meeting on Monday decided to postpone the date of flight resumption to September 1 citing increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
AOAN has opposed the government’s decision citing that most of the countries have already resumed domestic flight operations.
“Most of the COVID-19-affected countries have resumed at least domestic flights by adopting health safety protocols. Following the direction of Nepal government, Nepali airline operators were also prepared to resume flights from August 17 as per the protocols prescribed by World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO),” said Rameshwor Thapa, president of AOAN.
However, the decision of postponing flight resumption will affect both the industry and passengers, especially the differently-abled, pregnant women and others needing emergency care, he added. “Moreover, the airline companies have been facing huge losses due to flight suspension, which in turn has also affected a large number of people working in the aviation sector.”
The association has further claimed that there is less chance of transmission of COVID-19 during air travel.
Promoting air travel will also aid the government in testing or tracing passengers, AOAN has said in a statement.
“If the flight suspension keeps getting prolonged, the airlines companies may go belly up. Thus, if the government again postpones the flight resumption date of September 1, airline operators will be forced to take to the streets,” Thapa added.
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