President’s Qatar visit halts TIA flights

Published On: October 30, 2018 08:14 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, Oct 30: Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) halted both international and domestic flights for more than two hours on Monday morning to clear air traffic for President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s flight to Qatar.

The four-day visit to Qatar is President Bhandari’s first state visit abroad. 

Talking with Republica, Gobinda Khadka, editor of Community Information Network (CIN), said that their flights were halted for at least two hours on Monday morning. He was traveling to Biratnagar from Kathmandu.

“Our flight was initially scheduled for 10:15 am Monday, but it took off only at 1:45 pm, ”Khadka said. He said they were asked to wait after boarding the plane.

“Around 30 minutes after the announcement of flight delay, the TIA sent a notice to put off all lights of the aircraft,” he said. “Then all passengers got off the aircraft and returned to the waiting room.”

When the flights resumed, they again had to go through the formalities of boarding the aircraft. 

However, TIA officials claimed that they halted domestic and international flights for only 30 minutes as per the notice to airmen (NOTAM). Three international flights and two domestic flights were halted on Monday morning, officials said.

“NOTAM was issued on Saturday to all airlines companies, and flights were halted for only about 30 minutes on that basis,” said Sita Ram Bhandari, an official at the TIA. “All airlines companies were informed about it, so no flight has been affected.”

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