MIAMI – Today, the government of Nepal announced the resumption of domestic and international flights. It also lifted the temporary ban on long-haul transport services, effective on August 17.

The decision comes after the authorities ended the lockdown of the country this Tuesday midnight.

Four months without Airlines Services

From March 24, Nepalese government imposed restrictions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Since then, all air services were suspended, with the exception of chartered flights for medical and humanitarian purposes.

Yesterday, after a meeting of the Council of Ministers they decided to allow aviation operations again on August 17. These include international and domestic flights and and long-haul transport services.

Prior to this announcement, short-distance transportation was resumed, but there was no notification about national airlines services.

Himalaya Airlines suspended all its capacity from March 22. (H9 Airbus A320, 9N-ALW). Photo: Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon from Wikimedia Commons.

Restart of Tourism amid Monetary Losses and safety Concerns

With this measure, not only will domestic carriers benefit but also major ones. Some include Himalaya Airlines (H9), Nepal Airlines (RA), and Buddha Air (U4), all of which offer international services.

While flights return in August, the Ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation also announced the restart of tourism-related activities. In July, the Ministry said that Nepal’s tourism sector had lost around US$332m due to the effects of the pandemic.

Minister for Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs, Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe assured that flights resume following special health and safety protocols.