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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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Over 500,000 tourists visit Nepal in first 6 months

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KATHMANDU — As many as 520,000 tourists visited the country in the first six months of the year 2018.

This is 13 per cent increment in tourist arrivals compared to the number of tourists visiting the country during the corresponding period last year, according to the Department of Immigration.

During the same period last year, a total of 460,304 foreign tourists had visited the country. The data shows that tourist arrivals were encouraging even during the rainy season. It may be noted that Nepal Tourism Board held tourism promotional programs aimed at attracting more tourists to Nepal.

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NTB Chief Executive Officer Deepak Raj Joshi said increase in the number of foreigners even during off season was good news for tourism entrepreneurs. The contribution of the private sector to the country’s tourism cannot be ignored, he added.

The latest data shows that 96,372 Indian tourists visited Nepal in the period while the number of Chinese was 71,379. The number of tourists from the United States of America was 43,816, while the number Japanese tourists stood at 13, 851.

Nepal welcomed tourists especially from South Asia and European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, among others.

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