June 9: The Airline Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) has urged the government to resume domestic flights from June 15. The association made such request to the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Uma Shankar Aragaria on Tuesday (June 8), drawing his attention to the fact that the restriction on domestic flights for the past 35 days has rendered countless employees jobless, affecting their livelihood.
Stating that the service providers are committed to operating the flight following the health safety standards, the association has asked the ministry to facilitate in resuming flight operation. The association claimed that domestic flights were continued for a certain time even during the second wave of coronavirus and no passengers were infected during that time.
The association argued that trained manpower dealing with health and safety measures, disinfection of aircraft before each flight, and mandatory use of mask and face shield make domestic flights safe. AOAN has requested the minister to allow the operation of domestic flights by adopting the same measures.
The government has restricted domestic flights since May 4. According to the association, the revenue of airline companies has been declining due to the suspension of domestic flights for 35 days and many employees are at risk of losing their jobs. Stating that the livelihood of the dependent families will be lost along with the loss of employment, the association has stressed the need to make domestic flights comfortable and safe.
Similarly, the association has welcomed the ministry's decision of reducing the price of aviation fuel for international flights. The association has requested the government to reduce the price by keeping the internal profit low. Reducing fuel prices will reduce operating costs and allow the general public to travel at affordable rates. The association has also requested the government for a 75 percent discount on landing, parking and other fees during the current prohibitory period.