KATHMANDU, Aug 12: Airlines operators have warned of staging protests if the government decided to continue postponing the resumption of aviation services in Nepal.
Stating that they have already completed necessary preparations to resume the operation of air services as per the directive issued by the government, the airlines operators said that they will be forced to stage protests if the government decides to further postpone the resumption of aviation service. They have also maintained that they are fully prepared to implement the criteria set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to resume domestic air services.
This comes a day after the government announced to resume aviation service only September 1 against its earlier decision to resume air services starting August 17. However, with COVID-19 cases rising at an alarming rate, the government had postponed the resumption of the aviation services to September 1.
Issuing a statement on Tuesday, Airlines Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) said airlines operators have been incurring a huge loss and reached already on the verge of collapse due to restrictions placed in the scheduled air services.
As the government has listed domestic air service (fixed wing) as an essential service, airlines operators have said that it is a primary responsibility of the government to make travelling easier for the needy people. “The suspension of aviation services has affected rescue flights for people affected by floods, landslides, disabled patients and pregnant women,” the statement read.
Although COVID-19 has affected aviation services almost all countries in the world, many countries have already resumed air services. Domestic airlines operators have said that they have already made necessary preparations to resume aviation services in a managed and safe manner and contact tracing also can be done immediately as the tickets will have all the details of individual passengers if there were any cases of COVID-19.
The AOAN in the statement also said that the financial situation of thousands of people directly and indirectly related to the aviation industry has worsened as the service continues to be shut down due to COVID-19.