Throughout May and June, all electronic media channels were inundated with offers for charter flights out of Nepal. However, since the beginning of July, the number of people leaving Nepal has greatly diminished.
From July 1 to 20th, only 17 flights carried 824 people out of Nepal. Of those flights, two were from the UN WFP reserved for foreign diplomats (68 pax), and one was to Seoul for NRN returning to work (205 pax). The other NRN flights included: 5 flights to Sharjah (15 pax), 4 flights to Dubai (169 pax), and 1 each to Abu Dhabi (20 pax), China (15 pax) and Saudi Arabia (12 pax).
In fact, there were only three travel agency “rescue” flights, two to Doha (307 pax), and one to Dhaka (22 pax) on July 2nd to 4th. However, it seems that there are still a few hundred tourists remaining in the country. They have not left principally because they do not want to pay the high fares charged by the travel agencies. Other foreigners who are residents in Nepal and who would normally take a vacation abroad do not want to take the risk to leave without being assured that the airport will be open when they want to return.
These arguments are probably not enough incentive for the government to reopen the airport which will probably remain closed for the next few weeks.
Ludo is a retired Aerospace professional with 30 years experience in IT and Aviation. He spent his career between the USA and Europe working for a variety of company such as Jeppesen, Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, BAE SYSTEMS, Airbus, Rolls-Royce Thales, and Dassault Aviation. Before his retirement in 2017, Ludo was a technical consultant for customers such as the European Aviation Safety Agency. He has spent the last three years in Nepal and resides in Lalitpur.