Airfare for international chartered repatriation flights capped as government lists new flying rulesIn the first phase, the Tourism Ministry has authorized 67 chartered flights to bring at least 25,000 stranded Nepalis home.
The Nepal government has capped the air fares for international chartered repatriation flights, keeping in mind the interest of passengers as well as airlines for a temporary period as the government plans to evacuate Nepalis stranded in different countries.
According to officials at the Tourism Ministry and Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, they were forced to implement a price regulation following numerous complaints from travellers about excessive ticket prices imposed by charter operators, particularly travel agencies in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The proposed policy, the first of its kind, would lower the fare to a more favorable level for travellers,” said a senior official at the ministry who did not wish to be identified. “Placing such a cap will prevent travel agencies from hiking spot fares.”
Presently, there is an upper limit on fares for scheduled domestic flights only.
The government has unveiled the chartered fare list for 25 destinations with Kathmandu-Delhi or Delhi-Kathmandu airfare capped at $205 per person.
The airfare includes taxes of the respective countries effective from Thursday.
The ceiling for Kathmandu-London or London-Kathmandu flight ticket fares is $1,350. For Kathmandu-Frankfurt or Frankfurt-Kathmandu, it has been set at $1,255 per person.
The chartered flights are allowed only if its occupancy is above 85 percent. Airline passengers have to present a health certificate proving the negative results from Covid-19 PCR or RDT test. The respective airlines should manage the passengers and have to coordinate with respective embassies to evacuate passengers.
All passengers arriving in Kathmandu will have to stay in quarantine as per the government’s rule.
In the first phase, the Tourism Ministry has authorized 67 chartered flights. Among them, Nepal Airlines will conduct 24 flights, private carrier Himalaya Airlines will operate 19 flights and 24 flights by different foreign airlines.
The ministry said that two evacuation flights were operated from Kuwait on Wednesday and Thursday.
Nepal Airlines will conduct two evacuation flights from Dhaka, Bangladesh, on June 14.
As per the list, evacuation flights will be operated for Uganda, Cyprus, Israel, Nigeria, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Maldives, the United Arab Emirates, Cambodia, Singapore, the United States, Japan, Thailand and Europe.
The government has planned to evacuate at least 25,000 Nepalis at the most on priority basis, in the first phase, which will begin on Thursday and continue until June 25.
The government has banned all passengers, including Nepalis, from entering Nepal from European Union territories, including the United Kingdom, West Asia, Gulf countries and countries like Iran, Turkey, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan Since March 20.
A blanket ban was imposed, suspending all flights, on March 24 when the government imposed a nationwide lockdown to contain Covid-19. After growing calls, the government on Wednesday decided to ease the lockdown. A detailed modality and protocol is expected to be made public later on Thursday.
Capped airfare list:
Sector (To/from Kathmandu) Fare
Hong Kon $550
Kuala Lumpur $520
Abu Dhabi $500