COVID-19 impacts Nepal’s air travel

, DECEMBER 7

The in both domestic and international sector has declined drastically this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the , Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), the passenger numbers in the first 11 months were down about 65 per cent in the domestic sector and about 72 per cent in the international sector compared to the corresponding period of 2019.

Aiming at preventing COVID-19 infection from spreading, the had imposed a nationwide lockdown towards March-end. Both domestic and international flights were finally resumed from September after almost an eight-month gap.

However, the passenger numbers have not picked up as expected, said Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai addressing an event here marking the International Day of Civil Aviation.

All the members of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) across the world have observed International Day of Civil Aviation today with the slogan ‘Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development’.

Last year, the stakeholders had celebrated this day by organising various programmes. However, due to the pandemic, no major programmes were organised this year.

“Before the pandemic, we had expected significant growth in air traffic and aimed to welcome two million foreign tourists as the government had declared 2020 as Visit Nepal Year,” he said, “But around six months of lockdown and prohibitory order affected th


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