United States did not respond to Nepal's air service agreement
KATHMANDU, March 21:The United States has shown no interest in an air agreement with Nepal. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US agency that oversees civil aviation, has not responded to Nepal's submission of the necessary draft for the air agreement, according to Buddhisagar Lamichhane, joint secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation.
Joint-Secretary Lamichhane claims that the necessary draft for the air agreement was sent to the United States last November, but that there is little chance of the agreement being signed right away because no response has been received to date.
The US hasn't responded to our correspondence, so the next step will be diplomatic initiatives, according to Joint Secretary Lamichhane.
A preliminary agreement for the air agreement was reached between the US FAA and the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) at the conference of the heads of civil aviation regulatory bodies of the Asia Pacific region held in South Korea last July (June-July).
Since the start of the agreement, the Ministry of Tourism and the CAAN have been at odds. Despite the objections of ministry officials, the cabinet approved the air deal with the US in October. The topic of the Air Agreement has now been put on hold due to the Cabinet reshuffle.
Even today, charter flights still bring some aircraft to Nepal from the United States. However, Nepali Airlines' aircraft are not permitted to fly.
Direct flights from Nepal to America would have been possible if there had been a bilateral agreement. Travelers from many different nations currently have to spend a lot of time in transit to reach America. Not only that, but only a few airlines have been paying exorbitant air fares because there aren't many direct flights.
American airlines may also fly directly to Nepal if there is a deal. American aircraft are already arriving in India. If an air agreement is reached, they will be able to travel from India to Nepal and pick up passengers.
Currently, Nepal has bilateral air service agreements with 41 nations, including the European Union and 40 other nations (EU). Twenty of them have international flight connections. Recently, the government and Australia signed a bilateral air service agreement.
Following the signing of the air agreement with the US, Nepal's national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and the for-profit Himalaya Airlines can fly on its behalf.
Currently, international airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines provide Nepal-US flight services via various transits in Nepal.