Nepal preparing for bilateral air services agreements with three nations including Switzerland

KATHMANDU: The government is preparing to enter into bilateral air services agreements with three nations, including Switzerland, with the aim of expanding Nepal’s international flight connectivity.

According to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, Nepal has already signed bilateral air services agreements with 40 countries, with Australia being the latest addition. The government has already completed the paperwork to add Switzerland, Indonesia, and Rwanda to this list.

Civil Aviation Division Chief and Joint Secretary at the Ministry, Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane, said they anticipate the draft of the agreement to be endorsed by the Council of Ministers soon. Afterward, they will determine the location and timing for the formal signing of the agreements.

It may be noted that Nepal and Switzerland principally agreed for a bilateral air connectivity during the 41st Session of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly held in September 27 – October 7, 2022 in Montreal, Canada. Both countries observed the signing of the MoU to this regard, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CANN).

Nepal is also exploring the possibility of MoUs for air connectivity with various other nations, including Indonesia.

Bilateral aviation agreements are considered vital instruments of a nation’s foreign diplomacy, and the government is promoting such agreements. Nepal’s international flight service system already includes over 20 destinations.

These agreements not only enhance structural relations with respective countries but also strengthen bilateral ties. Furthermore, it’s important to note that these agreements are based on the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Lamichhane added.

Likewise, the government is in the process of reviewing agreements with Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This review has been proposed by Kuwait and the UAE themselves.

As part of its policies and programs for the current fiscal year, the government has announced its commitment to establishing new aviation relationships and expanding international air services.

 

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