Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai shared that altogether 108 international flights were conducted during the lockdown ordered in Nepal since March 24 to contain the outbreak of COVID-19.
Minister Bhattarai said so today while responding to the queries of parliamentarians raised during deliberation on various headings of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation under the Appropriation Bill-2077 BS in the meeting of the National Assembly.
Among the 108 international flights, 66 were chartered flights while 42 were the cargo, informed the Minister. A total of 11,702 passengers stranded in Nepal during the lockdown were flown to their respective countries during this course. Similarly, the number of stranded Nepalis abroad returning home by air during the lockdown stood at 649.
Altogether 25 airlines companies have conducted 54 flights during this period. All the international flights from and to Nepal were suspended since March 23 while the nationwide stay-at-home was ordered the next day. The suspension on all commercial international as well as domestic flights in Nepal has been extended till July 5 although the government has eased lockdown since June 15 and permitted areas of low-risks to reopen and resume.
Minister Bhattarai said that if any travel agencies were found charging the passengers exorbitantly for tickets in the chartered flight would be booked and their license would be scrapped.
He informed that Nepal Airlines Corporation had fixed USD 360 as a fair for the passengers flying to Nepal from the UAE, USD 165 from Bangladesh and 365 from Qatar. “The fair is fixed reasonably only to cover the operational expenses, not to make profit out of the tickets,” he explained.
On a different note, he shared that 450 of 900 quake-damaged cultural heritages were already reconstructed while budget was allocated for timely reconstruction of remaining cultural heritages.
Source: National News Agency Nepal