KATHMANDU, April 09: The only Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in the country which is connecting the world as a communication network is closed for about a month. Even though the country is in lockdown and even international flights are banned, there are almost daily flights operated to the international airport from TIA.
There have been about 24 international flights during the lockdown. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), From March 23 till now, 19 international flights from various international air service companies has been operated till now. All of these flights are chartered and some cargo flights. CAAN spokesperson Rajkumar Chhetri said more than 3,000 foreigners have returned from 19 international flights during the lockdown period.
Qatar Airways have operated 8 flights till now and Nepal Airlines have operated 3 (including 2 cargo) and one each to Korean, Malaysian, Malindo, Etihad, Czech Republican and Titan Airways have operated 1 flight each. Meanwhile, citizens of European countries, including Germany, France, New Zealand, and Malaysia, Czech Republic, the United States and Britain, have returned home. The Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), in coordination with the concerned bodies, facilitated the rescue of them from different destinations in Nepal and brought them to Kathmandu. The Embassy of Nepal in the respective countries has taken its citizens on a chartered flight in coordination with Nepal's Foreign Ministry.
The government has announced the lockdown of the country from 24th March and this will continue till April 15, The meeting of the High Level Coordination Committee of Corona Virus Transition, Prevention and Control, formed under the coordination of Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ishwar Pokhrel, had decided to extend the international air ban by April 27.