KATHMANDU, Aug 7: Buddha Air has said restricting people in need to travel is a violation one of their fundamental rights.
People due to certain emergencies have been commuting to and from the Kathmandu Valley despite the government’s direction to limit travelling in long routes to contain the spread of COVID-19. Issuing a statement, the company said people are obliged to pay thousands of rupees just to travel in vans carrying vegetables, ambulances, trucks and buses that are not following social distancing norms. “They are traveling for days when they can reach their destinations in hours,” the statement reads, “The government restricting people from traveling is a violation of their fundamental rights. These people need to have the right to travel when they really need to.” The company has said that the government needs to ease the travel restrictions and expand the scope of COVID-19 tests across the country.
It is only natural that the virus is transmitted when people travel for hours in unsecured ways which is one of the reasons for the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Nepal. The airline company has said that it is determined to sanitize the aircraft, baggage trolleys and workplace before each flight and also provide PPEs and security training to its staffers. Buddha Air has prepared a safety guideline to practice until the pandemic exists.
The airline has said that it is ready to resume operation making sure the transmission does not happen while traveling. “We have made multiple temperature checking, hand sanitization and usage of face shield mandatory,” the company said, adding that many countries have started operating domestic and international air services by adopting these practices.
With the aim of providing easy and cheap air service to the passengers, the company has lowered the airfare to different domestic destinations. People can fly to Biratnagar for Rs 3,000, Nepalgunj for Rs 4,200 and Bhadrapur for Rs 3,400. The airfare for Pokhara is Rs 1,900. Similarly, the airline has set Rs 5,400, Rs 2,700, Rs 2,700 for destinations like Dhangadi, Bhairahawa and Janakpur, respectively.
The government has listed domestic air service (fixed wing) as an essential service and the airlines operators have been providing the service observing the ceiling prepared by the government. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is preparing to resume air services following safety protocols starting August 17. Both domestic and international scheduled flights have been suspended in the Nepali sky since March 22. The country has been operating only special charter flights to bring medical supplies and repatriate stranded people to and from Nepal.