No need to stop international flights at the moment: CAAN

Kathmandu / Mar. 7: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has said it was not necessary to stop international flights in the country at the moment merely because of the fear about the spread of coronavirus.

Nepal has to follow the global standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). However, that is not obligatory to a sovereign country. Nepal can take appropriate decision on its own as and when needed.

Asked whether CAAN has reached to the decision to suspend international flights considering the possible risk of spread of coronavirus, director general of the civil aviation regulatory body, Rajan Pokharel said it would not be appropriate to stop the international flights in a hurry taking into account humanitarian sensitivity and the global situation.

The Supreme Court has issued an interim order to stop the international flights when needed in the context of Nepal. The CAAN will have to take a decision on this only after government decides on this topic.

“Government has already issued travel advisory. It is enough. So, flights must not be stopped. Even ICAO and WHO have not said anything to stop the flights. Time has not come to stop international flights,” Director General Pokhrel mentioned.

He however said foreign flights were curtailed for the some countries have issued travel advisory urging their citizens not to fly abroad.

Currently, 29 air companies including three Nepali have been operating international flights. Himalaya Airlines has so far cancelled its 15 flights to China. The national flag- carrier, Nepal Airlines, has however continued its regular flights. RSS

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