KATHMANDU, Dec 8: Nepal has lost about 72 percent of passengers in the international sector till November compared to the corresponding period of 2019. As COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, the country’s aviation industry remained closed for about six months causing the industry to lose 65 percent of passengers in the domestic sector.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai, extending his wishes on the occasion of International Civil Aviation Day, 2020 on Monday, said, “Our priority today is to ensure safety of travelling public and personnel involved in aviation operations to the extent possible.”
“We hope this terrible period will pass and our collective efforts will be able to bring back the aviation sector to its normalcy very soon,” he said, adding, “Nepal has issued health safety guidelines and various air safety measures for airlines, airports and other aviation activities based on ICAO guidance.”
He said that the pandemic has also heavily affected major infrastructure projects and other development works.
The country was expecting a significant growth in air traffic with a target of two million foreign tourists since the government had declared the year 2020 as ‘Visit Nepal Year’. Nepal resumed its international and domestic flights in September with certain restrictions while also following strict health safety measures after about six months of lockdown and prohibitory order.