Nepal requests China to resume Kathmandu-Lhasa direct flight

Published On: April 3, 2023 01:50 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 3:  Nepal has requested the Chinese side to resume Kathmandu-Lhasa direct flight. In the first meeting of the Nepal-China Coordination Mechanism on Border Trade held in Lhasa, Tibet on Sunday, Nepal made such a proposal to the Chinese side.

According to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply, the air service between the two cities remains closed due to COVID-19. Nepali side requested China to resume the flights in order to help further expand tourism and trade between the two countries.

Joint Secretary at the Ministry Narayan Prasad Regmi said that the Chinese side was positive about the request to open all trade channels with Nepal according to the Chinese policy. "We have requested to resume the air service, they are positive," said Regmi, who is also the spokesperson of the ministry. "The work of upgrading the airport is going on and the necessary decision will be taken soon according to Nepal's request."

As there is no direct flight from Lhasa-Kathmandu, air services are currently being connected to Kathmandu-Chengdu-Lhasa and Lhasa-Chengdu-Kathmandu in a roundabout route.

With the spread of the corona virus epidemic in China, Chinese airline companies stopped flights to various countries from January, 2020. Accordingly, flights to Nepal were also stopped. The route has been closed ever since the government of Nepal imposed the lockdown in the country to contain further spread of COVID-19 on March 24, 2020.

After COVID-19 pandemic, five airlines have started regular flights connecting Nepal and China. Air China and Sichuan Airlines have approved the summer schedule connecting Chengdu-Kathmandu, China Eastern to Kunming, China Southern to Guangzhou and Himalaya Airlines to connect Kunming and Beijing to Kathmandu.



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