September 11: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai has submitted a proposal to the Covid-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC) to reopen domestic air service from October 1.
Minister Bhattarai informed that the ministry has sent the proposal to the CCMC while it was preparing to resume air service to mountain and hill districts with few cases of coronavirus.
Speaking at a virtual interaction organised by the Society of Economic Journalists of Nepal (SEJON), Minister Bhattarai clarified that although the government was preparing to resume flights to remote districts from September 17 the plan has been put on hold for the time being.
Minister Bhattarai said that the government needs to revise a few things in its plan and therefore it proposed resuming air service two weeks later.
He further said that the ministry has sought permission from the CCMC to increase the number of international flights in accordance to the demand.
“The government is thinking about ways to resume the service sector after five months by adopting safety measures,” said Bhattarai, adding, “We had to impose restrictions again in areas like Kathmandu and Tarai districts with high population density after coronavirus cases increased drastically.”
The government had resumed limited number of regular international flights from September 1 and is preparing to gradually reopen domestic flights depending on the situation, said the minister.
The airline operators had earlier warned of protest if the government extended the ban on domestic flights beyond September 17. The government has delayed reopening domestic flights time and again due to the increase in coronavirus cases.