A small plane has crashed in bad weather in Nepal killing all 23 people on board, police said.

It is the country's second air disaster in as many years.

The Twin Otter aircraft, operated by private Tara Air, was on a flight from Pokhara, 125km west of the capital, Kathmandu, to Jomsom when it lost contact with the control tower.   

Police said the plane had broken into pieces.

A Chinese national and a Kuwaiti citizen were among the dead.

Officials said thick fog had enveloped the Mustang area where Jomsom is located. 

Air travel is popular in Nepal, which has only a limited road network. Many communities, particularly in the mountains and hills, are accessible only on foot or by air.

The country, which is still reeling from a devastating earthquake last April, has suffered a number of air disasters in recent years, dealing a blow to its tourist industry.

Most have been attributed to inexperienced pilots, poor management and inadequate maintenance.

Two years ago, a Twin Otter plane belonging to national carrier Nepal Airlines crashed into a hillside shortly after taking off from Pokhara, killing all 18 people on board.

Tara Air is a subsidiary of Yeti Airlines, a privately owned domestic carrier founded in 1998 which runs a service to many remote destinations across Nepal.

It suffered its last fatal accident in 2010 when a plane chartered by a group of Bhutanese tourists crashed into a mountainside in eastern Nepal.

The country's aviation sector has come under fire from international authorities and in 2013 the European Union blacklisted all Nepal's airlines.

EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said at the time that the country's safety record "does not leave us any other choice".

Nepal's last major aviation accident occurred last May when a US military helicopter assisting with earthquake relief crashed in bad weather, killing six Marines and seven other people.