Indian national carrier Air India on Friday announced a weekly flight schedule between Delhi, India, and Kathmandu in Nepal and said it will operate non-stop flights to the Himalayan nation on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday.
As per some media reports, the national flag carriers of Nepal and India have increased the number of weekly flights from two to six on the Kathmandu-Delhi route under the air bubble arrangement between the two countries.
At present, the airlines of both countries are operating flights under an air bubble arrangement between Nepal and India that allows one weekly flight in either direction amidst the travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, there has been an increase in demand for tickets with an exponential rise in the number of outbound passengers from Kathmandu, mostly traveling for medical treatment, and passengers have been scrambling to get tickets on the route.
Raj Kumar Chettri, the spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, told the Kathmandu Post that Nepal Airlines and Air India have been permitted to operate three flights a week each and will be effective from Monday.
India Nepal Flight Schedule
As per the approved schedule, now Air India will operate flights on the sector on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, while Nepal Airlines, which operates services every Wednesday, is yet to get the slot approval from India’s civil aviation regulator.
It must be noted that the Nepal government on April 29 announced a second lockdown and restricted domestic flights from midnight of May 3 and international flights from midnight of May 6.
India Extends Flight Suspension
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) India on Friday in a circular extends the suspension of scheduled international flights to/from India till Aug 31, 2021.
Scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. But special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May 2020 and under bilateral “air bubble” arrangements with selected countries since July 2020.
Air Bubble Agreement
So far, India has formed air bubble pacts with around 24 countries including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan, and France. Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.