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TIA to operate 21 hours a day from today

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KATHMANDU — Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), the only international airport in the country, will be in operation for 21 hours in a day starting Monday.

TIA working hours have been set as 6:00 am to 3:00 am aiming to manage and facilitate passengers, making international flights more effective and to minimise problems like obstructions due to minor plane malfunctions and obligations to hold aeroplanes in the air for long due to various reasons, according to TIA officials.

Earlier the airport operated for 18 hours a day (from 6:00 am to 12:00 am).

The airport is extending its operation hours as per the commitment made by Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rabindra Adhikari, in his 100-day action plan.

Minister Adhikari, unveiling the plan on March 23, announced to operate the hours for 21 hours in a day from May 20. In the second phase, the airport will be made operational round the clock.

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Minister Adhikari earlier himself had held consultations with concerned sectors and experts time and again in this regard.

The airport has a capacity of managing 1,300 passengers a day, but is forced to deal with around 2,500 passengers at present during peak hours. The airport sees approximately 400 takeoffs and landings a day both domestic and international.

In order to reduce air traffic congestion and ease flight operation, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) along with Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and TIA worked in tandem to extend TIA’s operation to 21 hours a day.

According to TIA, Qatar Airways and Wataniya Airways have expressed interest to operate flight in the extended hours.

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Tourist arrivals up by 34pc as season kicks off

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KATHMANDU — The inflow of foreign tourists in Nepal has increased by 33.8 per cent to 91,820 international visitors in arrivals in September, according to the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).

The country has received 91,820 foreign visitors in September,thanks to strong growth from India and China, according to a press statement issued by NTB.

Nepal has four main seasons — spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Autumn, which falls between September an November, is the best season to visit the Himalayan nation as the skies are clear giving stunning views of the Himalayan peaks.

Tourist arrivals from India grew by 96 per cent in September in comparison to the same period in 2017 while visitor arrivals from China has continued to soar with an exponential growth of 55 per cent in comparison to the arrivals in the same month last year.

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Likewise, arrivals from Sri Lanka surged by 57.1 per cent. The overall arrivals from SAARC countries registered a sturdy growth of 52.8 per cent over the same month last year.

Likewise, arrivals from Asia (other than SAARC) have also recorded robust growth of 42.6 per cent. The number of visitors from Japan and South Korea has also increased by 8.9 per cent and 9.2 per cent, respectively.

The European markets generated 66.3 percent more visitors in September this year. Arrivals from Germany and France swelled 30.9 percent and 19 percent respectively.

However, New Zealand and Australia witnessed a decline of 9 percent and 4 percent compared to the 2017 figure. The number of visitors from the US and Canada also dropped 9 percent and 2 percent respectively in September.

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