Cap. Rameshwar Thapa
Airline Operators’ Association of Nepal
Captain Rameshwar Thapa is a renowned name in the field of aviation, who is the chairman at Simrik Air. This is the third time he has taken the responsibility of Airline Operators’ Association of Nepal as President. He is one of the most reputed rescue pilots in Nepal.
Airline Operators’ Association of Nepal is an umbrella organization of airline operators. It has been established to promote safe and secure operation of flights for the economic development of the country that integrates tourism with social and cultural aspects. Mr. Thapa expresses that the association is planning to launch special offers in the air fare for tourists in order to promote Visit Nepal – 2020. Excerpts:
You are the President at Airline Operation Association, Nepal. Could you share with us the history of airlines in Nepal?
Before the advent of Democracy, Nepal had adopted the close door policy. Due to this reason, there was very less mobility of people. Prior to 2046 BS, there was only one airline, namely RNAC and one helicopter company, namely BBIP in Nepal. After 2046 BS, Nepal adopted open door and open sky policy for foreigners; as a result, more airlines companies were established in a mushrooming rate. Within the span of two years’ time, around 10 to 12 airline companies were established. Currently, there are many domestic and international airlines delivering their services competitively.
What are the challenges in Nepalese airline service at present?
There are many geographical difficulties since Nepal is a mountainous country. Due to the geographical and environmental difficulties, Nepal has to face serious accidents in flight. Some of the accidents are due to human errors too. Due to these reasons, the EU has banned their flights to Nepal. As a result, some foreigners do not desire to travel to Nepal. So, redeeming our status and developing a trustworthy environment has become one of the major challenges. Another conspicuous challenge is related to improvement in managerial problems looming on the airline sector.
How have you expressed your commitment for safety flight?
The human resources of our company are qualified and highly experienced. We provide them orientation and training courses regarding safety flight. As we never compromise on safety measures, we are fully committed to providing safety flight to our passengers.
Air connectivity has become the major challenge over our declaration of Visit Nepal-2020 campaign. In your opinion, what are the effective measures to make domestic air routes more reliable and more accessible?
We have some problems due to the prohibition of EU. Still, we have prepared all sorts of safety measures in domestic air connectivity. Similarly, we have specified some exciting destinations for visitors. So, our internal preparation is reasonably commendable.
We are promoting tourism showing our natural beauty till date. In your opinion, what are other possible ways of promoting tourism in Nepal?
In fact, Nepal is a beautiful country due to its diversified topography, such as snowcapped mountain ranges, green hills, plain Terai, flora and fauna and so on. Still, we are not able to promote eye-catching and scenic beauty of Nepal due to lack of sufficient advertisement and proper management. Besides natural beauty, there are many untraveled and unexplored historical, cultural and religious destinations in Nepal. On top of everything, the diversified culture of Nepal is another center of attraction for tourists.
In your opinion, how can we increase the length of stay of foreigners in Nepal?
In fact, bringing the large volume of tourists is not the major thing. We should formulate plans and policies to bring quality and genuine tourists who have high paying capacity. Similarly, we should ensure more activities that tourists enjoy doing and should increase the number of destinations in order to prolong the stay of tourists in Nepal. Food, accommodation, tour guide and trekking should be well-managed apart from developing other physical infrastructures, such as transportation, communication, dissemination of adequate information etc.
It is heard that the length of stay has decreased due to mountain flight services. What is your notion regarding this matter?
It may be partially true, but we should understand that there are varieties of options for tourists. Tourists who wish for mountain flight should be provided such services as per their expectations. If any tourists visit Nepal with trekking purpose, we should be able to provide such a service to them. So, equal priority should be given to both mountain flight and trekking. Beside these, other sectors of tourism should also be given equal priority by analyzing their prospects.
On behalf of your association, what do you recommend to the government for making Visit Nepal-2020 a great success?
We are fully committed to cooperating with the government for successful upshots of this campaign. Moreover, the government should ensure an amicable environment for foreigners in making their visit comfortable and exciting. The government should give the assurance of security and good hospitality.
What message would you like to convey to foreigners that are willing to visit Nepal in 2020?
Nepal is an exquisite country in terms of its natural, cultural and religious diversity. It is the country of Mount Everest, birth place of Buddha and holy pilgrimage to the Hindus. So, I convey my message to all tourists that they should gain a life-time experience by visiting such a jaw-dropping country, Nepal. In addition, we genuinely deliver good services and cordial hospitality to our guests.