CAAN DG Adhikari warns of halting Korean Air flights from November

KATHMANDU: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has sent a warning letter to Korea’s aviation regulatory body after the latter was found to be planning to maintain the syndicate of the Korean Air in Nepal in the name of ‘safety audit’.

Saying that it is not necessary to follow the provisions of bilateral air agreements by Nepal only, the CAAN has warned that it would halt the flights of Korean Air from November.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Korea for the past many years has been saying that Nepal should undergo a safety audit to operate flights to Korea.

As all the governments, ministers and the former director generals were not ready to stand against the undue pressure, the authority’s leadership swung into action.

Saying that the Nepal Airlines has been operating flights to Japan and Saudi Arabia among other countries, CAAN Director General Pradeep Adhikari has warned of halting the flights of Korean Air to Nepal from October 29 if Nepal Airlines is not allowed to operate flights to Korea unconditionally.

Following the CAAN’s director general’s warning, Korea’s aviation regulatory body has become somewhat flexible, a source said.

The Korean Air has been solely operating flights to Nepal and charging exorbitant fares from the passengers.

The Korean Air’s syndicate will end and the passengers can fly in cheaper airfare if Nepal Airlines flights are allowed to operate to Korea.

Some time ago, Korea’s aviation regulator body had sent a letter to the CAAN stating that Nepal is under the EU’s safety audit and put forth several conditions.

Director General Adhikari had expressed his dissatisfaction after Korea’s aviation regulatory body demanded that it be provided to conduct the safety audit of CAAN along with the Nepal Airlines.

He reminded that CAAN is a state and its audit cannot be done by anyone other than the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

In the meantime, acting Nepali Ambassador to Korea Pushpa Raj Bhattarai had written a letter to the CAAN urging to write to the Korea’s aviation regulatory body to conduct the safety audit of Nepali Airlines flights to Korea. In which, Adhikari expressed his displeasure.

According to a source, the CAAN, a week ago, had asked the General Sales Agent (GSA) Universal Travels for Nepal not to sell tickets to Korea from now onwards.

Korean Air has been operating five flights to Nepal in a week. But it has been mentioned in the agreement that both the countries can operate the flights.

Meanwhile, the authority is going to raise this issue in the meeting of the directors general of aviation in the Asia Pacific region to be held in Bangladesh this October.



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