COVID-19 fear prompts drastic cuts in international flights

Published On: March 17, 2020 06:23 PM NPT By: RSS

KATHMANDU, March 17: The fear overspread of COVID-19 has prompted drastic cuts in the international flights at the country's only international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).

The international airlines companies operating flights to and from TIA have cut the number of flights significantly after the global spread of coronavirus infection.

TIA General Manager Devendra KC said international flights have been cut almost daily in recent days. According to him, 45 to 50 international flights used to be operated daily at TIA in normal conditions. Only 29 international flights have been handled today, he added.

Thirty international flights were operated on Monday.

Taking both inbound and outbound flights, 95 to 90 international flights are handled on an average at TIA. The airlines companies have started to gradually decreasing the flights following the fall in the number of passengers due to the fear of COVID-19 infection.

There has been a heavy cut in the international flights in the last two days and this process is likely to continue for some more days, according to KC. Before this, Air India operated four flights daily but it has reduced the number of flights to one at present. Qatar Airways, which used to operate four flights a day before has cut down flights to only two.

Dragon Air has already suspended its flights. Korean Air that had been conducting four flights a week has reduced to one flight. Thirty airlines companies, including three Nepali companies, have been operating international flights from TIA.

The national flag carrier, Nepal Airlines Corporation, has halted its flights to Dubai while the private airlines company, Himalaya Airlines, which had been operating 15 flights a week to four various destinations in China has suspended its all flights for the time being. It has also decided to halt flights to Dubai and Saudi Arabia until further notice.

All the five airlines companies operating flights to Nepal from China have also drastically cut their flights to Kathmandu.

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