The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal has granted consent to 142 flights by adding 55 flights to the program following an instruction from the Council of Ministers to undertake regular and charter flights so as not to increase the daily arrivals to 800.
The cabinet meeting on August 30 had expanded the number of passengers for both charter and daily flights by 300 to 800 since there are thousands of Nepalis who would like to fly back home attributable to the Covid-19 outbreak. The government adjusted the action brought on 20 August for 500 passengers. In a month from August 20 to September 1, the ministry has approved 93 daily and 49 charter flights to Kathmandu.
The government had agreed for the first time on August 20 to open normal flights along with charter flights so the daily arrivals would not reach 500. However, the government has been under an effort to increase the number of flights to Nepal, as the number of passengers arriving in Nepal was high and tickets were very costly for a limited number of flights.
However, apart from India, China, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, and Korea are now open to regular flights including Doha, Dubai, Sharjah, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, and Istanbul. There are also charter flight destinations for Maldives, Qatar, Kuwait, Jeddah, Oman, Bahrain, Riyadh, Singapore, and others.
Nepal Airlines, Himalaya Airlines, and Shree Airlines are the airlines that get flight permission. International carriers include Korean Air, China Southern, Air China, Malaysian Airlines, Malindo Air, Cathay Dragon, Silk Air, Air Arabia, Qatar Airways, Travel Dubai, Jazira Air, and others.
These daily and charter flights would have to arrive in Kathmandu between 6 am and 6 pm, according to a ministry official. These flights do not necessitate the airline’s authorization to carry freight and emergency supplies.
There is a provision that passengers who arrive in Nepal on daily flights must carry a negative PCR report within 72 hours of the trip. It is illegal to carry mixed passengers (PCR tested and Non tested) on the same flight. In that scenario, at the cost of the airline, all the passengers must stay at the hotel quarantine in Kathmandu for 7 days.
Tourists have been barred from coming to Kathmandu from regular flights. However, staff from diplomatic missions, embassies, international development partners, UN missions and their families are allowed to visit Nepal.