KATHMANDU, June 12: The Embassy of Nepal in Oman has taken an initiative to send interested Nepalis back home for half of the airfare the Nepali government had fixed some days ago.
The diplomatic mission in Oman has published a notice calling for applicants who want to go back to Nepal through the evacuation flights. According to the notice issued by the embassy, the passengers can fly to Nepal for 298 US dollar (115 OMR).
As per the evacuation schedule prepared by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, the Nepal Airlines flight that was scheduled to take place on June 21 would cost the passengers $510. The airfare Nepalis are paying now is almost half of what Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) charges. The Nepali Embassy has rescheduled the flight and it will be carried out by Salam Air on June 15. According to a source, the airfare the government has set is still lower than the proposed rate submitted by the NAC.
“The prices of the flights are a bit higher as compared to the regular prices because of the operation cost and it covers two ways fare,” said Archana Khadka spokesperson for NAC. She said that she is unaware of the rescheduling of the flight.
The Nepal government has set the price of the tickets for the evacuation flights to different destinations that will be carried out from June 11 to June 25. Within the period of 15 days, a total of 67 evacuation flights have been scheduled. Two Nepal-based international airlines will carry out 43 flights and the remaining 24 will be carried out by foreign international airlines.
Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) will conduct 24 flights to destinations like Dhaka, the Maldives, Malaysia, Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain, Thailand, Japan, among others. Similarly, Himalaya Airlines will operate 19 flights to Sri Lanka, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and other destinations to bring the stranded Nepalis home.
However, the government has said that the scheduled flights are subject to change. The flights will be carried out only if the occupancy rate is 85 percent or more.
All the passengers are required to produce a RDT or a PCR test report before boarding the planes. And after arriving in Nepal, they should stay in quarantine as per the government’s guideline. The passengers will be sent to holding centers prepared by the government and later will be shifted to provincial and other quarantine facilities according to their preference and affordability. Hotels have offered to provide their space as quarantine facilities with charges. The quarantined will be provided with four meals a day at a price as minimum as Rs 2,000 for shared rooms and Rs 3,000 for a single room.