Update from Australian Embassy
To Australians in Nepal
The Australian Embassy is in negotiations with a new air carrier on a revised commercial service to Australia.
The service will be a direct Kathmandu to Sydney flight.
Costs will be USD1800 for economy seating and will include a USD2300 option for business class travel.
While dates are yet to be confirmed, the Australian Embassy is working to a Wednesday 1 April departure.
All Australians who visited the Australian Embassy on Saturday, or who confirmed their interest with our travel provider Bon Travel are on our list of subscribed travellers.
There are 190 passengers currently subscribed for the flight and 75 seats remain available.
We currently have 407 Australians registered with the Australian Embassy as being in Nepal. We have a further 187 permanent residents. Based on these numbers, the flight will be over subscribed.
Australians interested in availing this service, and who haven’t already done so, should email Bon Travel as soon as possible. The formal booking process will commence Monday 30 March.
On social media there have been concerns expressed about cost. We appreciate where these expressions of frustration are coming from.
Many Australians have been stretched financially having paid for bookings that were subsequently cancelled. The disinclination of insurers to cover cancellations due to COVID-19 or reluctance of airlines to offer refunds in a timely manner is not helping.
In the event there are future flights, if there are future flights, they are only likely to be more expensive.
For those Australians disinclined to pay the airfare, or those who are too financially stretched despite their best efforts to seek support from friends and family in Australia, my only advice at this point would be to find a safe place to settle. This may have to be for an extended period.
There are reports that the Nepal Government will extend the current lock down to 14 April. There is prospect of further lock downs after 14 April.
This relates directly to Nepal Government efforts to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19.
Nepalis are among the most generous and resilient people I know. But there are very real fears within the community about the implications of a COVID-19 outbreak. Some have told me they fear the capacity of Nepal’s health system to cope if an outbreak occurs.
So what the Nepal Government is doing in terms of containment and restrictions on people movement is absolutely the right thing, and consistent with the advice of international health experts.
The Nepal Government wants international travellers in Nepal to be safe. The best way it can do that is to work with us to help you leave. It is trying to do this to the best of its limited capacity as a developing nation. I applaud these efforts.
At some point, the Nepal Government will have to focus entirely on the welfare of its own people, and to put Nepalis first.
Australians who decide to stay in Nepal must carefully consider what the implications of this shift will be for their own safety and security.
We are in the late stages of organising a flight. As Australian Ambassador I am offering priority to Australians.
If Australians choose not to take up this offer, I will extend it to our Kiwi friends, subject to New Zealand Government agreement.
If there are still spaces after that, I will be putting my wife on the plane, along with a valued member of my staff with her family. Take this as you will.
Source: Australian Embassy, Nepal
For Australians in Nepal, the flight is scheduled to leave Monday 30 March with a special commercial flight from Kathmandu to Sydney with Qatar Airlines via Doha. They will be prioritizing Australian tourists, particularly the elderly and families with children.
There will be up to 300 seats available.
The cost will be around 3795 AUD p/p
Source : Nepal Tourism Board