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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Air connectivity discussion with China in July

Kathmandu, April 24

Nepal and China are scheduled to hold bilateral talks in July on boosting aviation connectivity between the two countries.

The talks will focus on issues such as allowing Nepali airlines to fly into China. So far, none of the Nepali airlines fly to the northern neighbour.

Also, discussions will be held on seeking slots for Nepali airlines in the newly-built airport in Beijing.

“We are scheduled to hold discussions on allowing Nepali airline companies to fly to China, but it will materialise only in July,” said a high ranking official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), who is a member of the team accompanying the president to China.

As per him, the issue will be discussed during President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s state visit to China, which commenced from today.

He further mentioned that the Chinese government had already said that it will open air entry routes for Nepali air carriers to fly to various Chinese destinations from Nepal.

But, the Chinese government is yet to give a green signal.

Meanwhile, Suresh Acharya, joint secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), informed that the MoFA has not held any discussion with MoCTCA for the purpose. “However, MoFA and Embassy of Nepal in China are aware about the issue.”

Earlier, Chinese Minister for Culture Luo Shugang, during his visit to Nepal in November, had assured of increasing the number of flights between the two countries and also opening the door for Nepali airline companies to fly to the northern neighbour by February this year. But nothing has happened on that front yet.

Nepal and China had signed a revised bilateral air services agreement (ASA) on February 25, 2014. Both the countries had agreed to operate 56 flights per week through any type of aircraft on a reciprocal basis. Moreover, the revised pact also had a provision whereby an additional seven flights per week could be added from 2016, if needed.

The revised agreement had also given unlimited traffic rights for cargo-only flights through any type of aircraft. It had also permitted bilateral and third-party code sharing by carriers of the two countries.

But till date, all the aforementioned options and facilities are being utilised by Chinese airline carriers only.



from Business – The Himalayan Times http://bit.ly/2IUSJzE

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