During official meet between Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) Rabindra Adhikari and European Union (EU) Ambassadors, EU have hinted that Nepal will still be listed on EU blacklist.
During the visit in the Tourism Ministry, EU officials have stated that Nepal has still not managed to maintain Europe’s safety standard thus Nepal will still be listed in EU’s black list preventing Nepali carrier to fly to Europe.
Minister Adhikari arranged the meeting on 15th February to request EU to remove ban on Nepali carriers as Nepal managed to fulfill safety criteria as per International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) but was still listed on EU ban.
Minster Adhikari informed EU Ambassadors about the improvement on aviation sector of Nepal and also stated about efforts made to improve on aviation sector as per EU suggestion. He also urged EU delegates to withdraw Nepal from the blacklist so as to aid in making ‘Visit Nepal year-2020’ successful.
EU delegates stated that despite Nepal have been improving on the sector however it has not been enough to lift Nepal from EU ban and also made clear that the 18 points which EU suggested about has not been improved thus European technical team will not visit Nepal any time soon so as to make assessment on Nepal’s aviation sector.
Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) informed EU delegates that they have been working with 2 French counselor as per EU suggestion yet EU ambassadors stated that they will not make assessment until the works as per 18 stated points are not fulfilled.
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 airlines has been preparing to fly to Asian countries like Japan and Korea and the ban has been affecting in this sector also. Japan has already been ready to provide flight permission however have rescheduled it month later as they wanted to perform safety audit of airlines first.
Nepal was listed in ICAO black list in 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.
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 having own infrastructure is the most important aspect.
Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari had meeting with European Union, Germany, Finland and France Ambassadors.
The delegates had discussion regarding their cooperation on safety concerns of civil aviation of Nepal and visit Nepal year campaign.