"Nepal Expands Air Connectivity: Inks Deal with Rwanda, Progress on Agreements with Switzerland and Indonesia"

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Nepal has broadened its global aviation reach with bilateral air service agreements now established with 41 countries. A recent accord with Rwanda, facilitating up to 14 flights per week, enables the Nepali Air Service Company to operate direct flights to the African nation.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation reported ongoing advancements in bilateral air agreements with two additional countries as of the third week of Magh 2080. Budhisagar Lamichhane, Joint Secretary of the ministry, revealed that approvals have been secured in the Council of Ministers meeting to finalize bilateral air agreements with Switzerland and Indonesia in Kathmandu by the specified timeframe. Coordination efforts are also underway for a similar agreement with Russia.

The bilateral air service agreement with Rwanda allows for a maximum of seven flights each in Kathmandu and seven additional flights from Gautam Budh and Pokhara International Airports, as informed by Lamichhane.

Despite having bilateral air agreements with 41 nations and multilateral agreements with the European Union, Nepal is actively operating flights in only 13 countries. Since 1995, Nepal has been entering into agreements for both single and multilateral flights, resulting in approximately 8 million one-way air seats available for international flights. However, only about 3 million air seats have been utilized from operated flights.

At present, Nepal Airlines Corporation, Himalaya Airlines, and Buddha Air have secured permission for international flights from Nepal. Gyanendra Bhul, the Information Officer of Nepal Civil Aviation Authority, revealed that eight aircraft from Nepal Air Service Corporation and Himalaya Airlines are currently flying internationally. The corporation serves 10 destinations in eight countries, while Himalaya Airlines operates in seven countries. On the domestic front, there are 53 aircraft from nine companies and 38 helicopters from 11 helicopter companies.

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