Pokhara and Bhairahawa seek permission for direct flights from Bhutan

Kathmandu : Bhutan has requested permission from Nepal for regular flights to Bhairahawa and Pokhara from the Tribhuvan International Airport. The Bhutan Civil Aviation Authority, under the Ministry of Eastern Frontier Affairs and Transport, has submitted a letter to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal on Friday, seeking direct flight permits to its two international airports.

According to the sources from the authority, Bhutanese airlines have been operating flights to Nepal for the past decade without any technical issues. The Bhutanese government is in favor of expediting the process to grant permits to its two airlines.

Bhutan’s estimation is that with direct flights to the new cities in Nepal, a large number of Buddhist pilgrimage tourists can benefit. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has said that it is working to expedite the process of granting the necessary clearances and facilitations.

A decade ago, an air service agreement had been reached between the two countries for two lakh eighteen thousand seats annually. Currently, thirty international airlines, including two from Bhutan, operate flights to the Tribhuvan International Airport.

Even after operating for seven months, there have been no regular flight permits granted to any foreign airlines at the Pokhara International Airport. Gulf-348, operating from the eastern Ilam airspace, can reach Bhutan directly. This route connects Kathmandu with Pokhara. Similarly, there are no issues with the aviation route from Bhairahawa to Bhutan (Paro airport).

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