COVID-19 pandemic

Himalaya Airlines to conduct four repatriation flights in next six days

Published On: August 26, 2020 10:29 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 26: The Himalaya Airlines is conducting four repatriation flights to bring stranded Nepalis home within this month.

The airline company on Tuesday unveiled a second schedule for the fifth phase repatriation flights after it was forced to reschedule its flights after the government suspended the already scheduled flights on the very first day of the repatriation schedule last week. 

The Nepal-China joint venture is conducting flights to various labor destination countries including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The Himalaya Airlines aircraft will fly to Dammam on August 26, Kuala Lumpur on August 27, Abu Dhabi on August 30 and Doha on August 31. 

The airfare for Saudi Arabia flight is US dollar 465 and $372 for Malaysia. Similarly, the airlines has set $385 and $392 for flights to Dubai and Qatar, respectively.

Likewise, the state-owned Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has rescheduled its flight to Kuwait for August 28. It was supposed to bring stranded Nepalis back to Nepal on August 23. 

The airline has asked the passengers to revalidate their tickets after booking hotels in Kathmandu. Issuing a statement on Tuesday, NAC said that those who are able to come in contact within Wednesday will be included in the flight and full refund will be made available to those unable to come in contact with the airline representative within the given deadline. 

The government has made it mandatory for all passengers to stay in quarantine upon their arrival in Kathmandu. Himalaya Airlines has said that passengers from Malaysia and the UAE where PCR test is easily available must hold a PCR test negative certificate issued within the past 72 hours of scheduled flight time. 

All PCR test negative passengers will be allowed to go home with a written commitment to stay at home quarantine for at least 14 days. Whether they have stayed at home quarantine or not will be  monitored by local level authorities.

For countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia where PCR tests are not easily accessible, all passengers must have an evidence document of confirmed hotel booking in Kathmandu with mandatory stay in the hotel quarantine for at least seven days. The airline company has said that it will not accept any passenger who cannot furnish any evidence of hotel booking. “We will facilitate passengers at Doha and Dammam for hotel bookings by collecting the cost of hotel stay at the time of ticketing,” the Himalaya Airlines said in a statement on Tuesday.

All passengers are required to fill a form available on the website of the COVID-19 Crisis Management Center (CCMC) and get a barcode or print a copy of the form to present before the airlines staff at the time of their check-in. 

The government has said that it will continue to conduct charter flights to countries where PCR tests are not easily accessible. However, regular commercial flights will be operated only to those countries where PCR tests are easily accessible. 

A total of 500 passengers per day will be repatriated home through charter flights. Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai has said that the number can be increased after analyzing the situation after a certain period.


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