Foreign Minister urges EU delegates to lift ban

Ministry for Foreign Affairs Honorable Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has asked to European Union (EU) to consider removing ban on Nepali aircraft from flying in its sky.

During permanent transfer of embassy of EU delegation at Lazimpat on Monday, minister Gyawali urged for removing Nepal from ban with high level delegates.

In a meeting with the European External Action Service (EEAS) Deputy Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific, Paola Pampaloni who is currently in visit to Nepal, Minister Gyawali guaranteed that Nepal has made significant upgrade in its flight safety sector without any compromise and urged to remove Nepal from the list.

EU and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had imposed ban on Nepalese carriers from flying in its airspace from 2013 and ICAO had audited and suggested to make improvement a year later and in 2017 ICAO removed Nepal from black list. Yet EU has not still lifted the ban.

EU aviation agency had released press statement on December last year stating about continuity on ban to Nepali carriers citing lack of improvement and also stated that the regulatory body Civil Aviation Authority (CAAN) lacked paying attention to security.

The ban has made direct impact on Nepali carriers specially Flag carrier Nepal airlines (NAC) as they have not been able to operate their recently bought wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft on long haul sector.

The aircraft have been operating on old short haul sector bearing loss. The airline has been preparing to fly to Asian countries like Japan and Korea and the ban has been affecting in this sector also.

Minister Gyawali also invited European entrepreneurs to participate in upcoming Nepal Investment Summit which is scheduled to commence during end of this month.

Government is set to celebrate ‘Visit Nepal Year-2020’ on 2020 AD and has set aim to bring around 2 million tourists in the country and the ban on carrier is set to be problematic in the process.

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