Though the government had earlier announced to resume both domestic and international flights from September 1, the operation of domestic flights is still uncertain.
While safety protocols and guidelines for resumption for international flights have already put in place albeit with reduced capacity, there have been no talks regarding the resumption of domestic flights despite national airlines agreeing to adhere to health safety protocols.
According to Prajol Thapa, chief of the Marketing and Sales Department of Simrik Airlines, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal had earlier decided to allow operation of only 33 per cent flights in the initial phase.
“On the basis of that direction, all airline companies have already submitted their flight operation applications to CAAN,” he said.
However, sources at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) say there are other technical issues besides the health safety protocols that need to be sorted, and that is why a final date for resumption of domestic flights is still uncertain.
The government is reportedly still holding discussions with domestic airline operators regarding the flight resumption plan.
Officials at the MoCTCA said since the government was more focused on international flights, no concrete decision had been taken regarding resumption of domestic flights.
Considering the rise in COVID-19 cases, resumption of domestic flights might be postponed further, the officials added.
Meanwhile, Airline Operators Association of Nepal had earlier threatened the government to launch a protest if domestic flights were not allowed to resume operations from September 1.
The Association said national carriers were ready to operate flights by following the safety protocols prepared by the government.