Nepal is planning to resume domestic and international flight operations from next month, with proper regulations to fight against coronavirus.
Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism is working on a tentative plan to start domestic flights on August 5 and international flights on August 17, an official near Minister Yogesh Bhattarai said.
The first flight round will be to and from the capital Kathmandu, he said.
The Ministry of Tourism will recommend the COVID-19 Crisis Management Center – headed by Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel – to resume flight operations next month, the official said.
A cabinet decision is required to resume flight service. The government of Nepal Suspended flight operations in March to curb the spread of the virus.
Charter flights were however carried out to deliver medical equipment and for repatriation.
There have been more cases of recovery than the number of new infections in Nepal in the past week.
The resumption of air traffic should give the tourism industry, which had problems due to the pandemic, an urgently needed boost.
Thousands of Nepalese in the tourism sector have lost jobs and many companies have closed their businesses.
According to the 2018 report by the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Nepalese tourism sector, directly and indirectly, employs around 10.5 lakh and generates sales of over 24,000 crore Nepali Rupees.
Overall, the travel and tourism sector contributed around 7.9 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
The number of active coronavirus cases in Nepal dropped to around 6,000 this week, while the recovery rate remains impressive at 66.12 percent.
In total, the Himalayan nation reported 17,445 COVID-19 cases.