KATHMANDU, April 5: A total of 780 foreigners have been repatriated in four different chartered flights from Kathmandu on Saturday.
The foreigners were flown back to their respective countries in four different chartered flights arranged by different countries and their diplomatic missions situated in Nepal. Two special chartered flights by Qatar Airways took off from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) carrying 605 passengers. “Of the total passengers, 159 were Germans and the rest were French, Europeans and non-European nationals,” said Raj Kumar Chhetri, spokesperson at Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). According to him, both flights took off in the morning.
Similarly, 73 foreigners were flown out of Kathmandu in a chartered Malindo Air flight that took off from TIA at 12:45 pm on Saturday. “The last one to fly out of Kathmandu was Czech Airlines at 5:45 pm,” Chhetri told Republica, adding, “The aircraft had come from Colombo and is headed towards Armenia with 102 passengers onboard.”
Embassy of Germany and France had charted a flight each to send their citizens back home. The Embassy of France in Nepal arranged the second repatriation flight from Kathmandu to Paris for its citizens and other European and non-European nationals in a special Qatar Airways chartered flight. According to the Embassy, the flight carried out on Saturday had more than 170 French nationals and more than 120 European nationals and a few non-European nationals. It had managed its first rescue flight from Nepal on March 28 that repatriated 305 passengers. Similarly, it is the third special chartered flight arranged by the Embassy of Germany for its nationals.
“An Airbus 330 of Qatar Airways is scheduled to carry American passengers from Nepal on Sunday,” said Chhetri, adding that the flight has been arranged by the US Embassy.
In line with the government's decision to facilitate foreigners stranded in Nepal due to the lockdown, many countries had reached out to the government, seeking permission to airlift their citizens. Nepal-based embassies of Germany, US, Australia and France, among others had reached out to the government for permission to evacuate their citizens from Nepal. The government granted permission to operate chartered flights at the request of the embassies of Germany, the US, France and Australia. More than half a dozen international chartered flights have been carried out since the lockdown in Nepal.
Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has been involved in the rescue of foreigners stranded in different places of Nepal due to the lockdown imposed by the government. NTB has rescued more than 1,700 foreigners from Pokhara and Lukla among other locations and most of them have left for their respective countries in chartered flights. NTB has asked stranded foreigners to stay put in the places they are in right now as it has stopped its rescue operation for the time being.
All international flights to and from Tribhuvan International Airport also remain suspended due to the lockdown.