Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, instructed Himalayan Airlines to preserve the current status without enforcing the self ground handling policy. Minister Bhattarai also instructed to revoke the permits of Air India and Thai Airways, which had previously obtained self ground handling. Last week Himalaya Airlines has been granted a license by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to handle its self ground-handling services.
Minister Bhattarai has detained Rajan Pokharel, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, and has ordered him not to enforce Himalayan Airlines’ policy to comply with Self Ground-Handling.
As per a source, Director-General Pokharel was ordered by Minister Bhattarai to hold talks with the Minister before making any big decisions with Secretary Kedar Bahadur Adhikari.
The government has prevented Himalayan Airlines from enforcing the decision to provide self-ground handling services.
Nepal’s significant opposition Nepali Congress (NC) protested an unpatriotic move that would threaten the government.
The memorandum was passed over to Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai by the Nepal Airlines Company Workers Association (Closed to Nepali congress). The traitorous action was ordered to be withdrawn. The proposal to hand over the Himalayas was strongly objected. Finally, on Sunday, Minister Bhattarai convened Rajan Pokharel, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority, and ordered him not to follow Himalaya Airlines’ decision to comply with self-ground handling.
According to a senior official, Minister Bhattarai has ordered Himalayan Airlines to preserve the present situation without enforcing the self-ground handling order. Not just that, it has also ordered Air India and Thai Airways, which had previously obtained self-ground handling, to withdraw their authorization. It is stated that each of them did not fulfill the conditions.
It has also been ordered to assign Nepal Airlines the responsibility for ground handling of these airlines. The responsibility for ground handling of Tribhuvan Airport has been granted to flag carrier Nepal Airlines.
Ground Handling is the primary source of revenue for Nepal Airlines. Aviation expert says “If the ground handling was provided to Himalaya Airlines, Nepal Airlines would lose more than Rs 4 billion.” However, the Tourism Ministry backtracked after criticism from all sides.