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March 18, 2020

International flight frequency plummets  

Arrival at TIA

Kathmandu: International flight frequency is dwindling at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) after Nepal government-imposed travel advisory to the travelers arriving from Coronavirus hit countries.

The Civil Aviation officials Tuesday divulged that the number of foreigners traveling by using international flights has plummetted by 69% while the cancellation of international flights has gone up to 60%. The decline in the number of travelers using international flights is likely going down further.

There used to be at least 65 flights every day which has gone down to 25 flights a day and this has been one of the impacts of issuance of travel advisory for the foreign travelers which makes it mandatory for them to submit a health certificate on arrival certifying that they are not infected with Coronavirus at TIA added the officials.

Both Nepal Airlines Corporation and Himalaya airlines have suspended their flights to Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia after Malaysia locked down its country for foreign visitors in the wake of the global Coronavirus pandemic. Buddha Air has also suspended its lights to Indin town of Varanasi.

International flight such as Thari Air, Korean Air, and Qatar Airways have curtailed their flights to Nepal. TIA revenue this year is likely to go down by 35%. TIA is Nepal’s high earning source of revenue which used to earn at least Rs 6 billion annually. However, this year the revenue is predicted to be around Rs 4 billion only.

The lethal epidemic Coronavirus known as COVID-19 which spread from mainland China has already claimed the lives of over 7,989 people globally with maximum deaths in China only and around 198,712 people (in more than 160 countries) being infected around the world.

COVID-19 has insidiously affected tourism worldwide, including Nepal. Nepal continues to scramble for preventive measures with limited resources. According to Nepali authorities, six patients suspected of Coronavirus are in isolation wards in hospitals.

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