KATHMANDU, June 7: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has directed international airlines not to initiate bookings arbitrarily at a time when air services remain suspended due to COVID-19 in Nepal.
CAAN, issuing a notice on Saturday, asked all international airlines not to start any booking or issue tickets for scheduled or charter flights to and from Nepal. “It has come to our notice that some international airlines have commenced bookings for commercial passenger flights to and from Nepal,” reads the notice, “Permission to operate passenger repatriation flights requires processing through the diplomatic channels.”
As Nepal has suspended all commercial passenger flights except repatriation flights processed through diplomatic channels, CAAN has asked airliners to not initiate any bookings for scheduled or passenger charter flights originating or with destination to Nepal.
The suspension period of all domestic and international commercial passenger flights has been extended till June 14. Airline operators are required to get special permission from CAAN for the operation of rescue flights, freighter flights and flights related to the medical and other essential supplies.
CAAN recently issued a ‘Guidance to Airlines, Airports and Ground Service Providers for Operations during COVID-19’ to serve as an aviation health safety guidance and to provide a source of best practices on how airports, airline operators should conduct commercial and non-commercial transport.
According to CAAN, it has allowed limited flights to some specific sectors based on safety assessment to operate whereas it plans to gradually increase flight schedules based on the evaluation of the situation. As the government prepares to evacuate a huge number of Nepalis from abroad, the guidance provides an insight on the dos and don’ts for safe operation of flights minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.