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Airlines put off launch due to paperwork2014-10-29 13:49:35

Travelers who are willing to fly with Himalayan Airlines have to wait up to six months. The start-up carrier has postponed its first flight schedule for October 28 till February-march due to inadequate paperwork.
Meanwhile, another start-up domestic carrier Saurya Airlines will be able to start commercial flights after a month, said officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan). On August 18, Saurya brought a 50-seater Bombardier CRJ-200 jet to serve long-haul domestic routes. 

Caan said that if everything goes well, Himalaya will be able to take to the skies after six months. The airline initially had planned to fly on the Kathmandu-Lhasa sector and become the second international carrier to directly link the highest city in the world after Air China. 

The carrier plans to lease at least three A320 jets in the first year and expands its fleet to five aircraft in the second year and operates on the Kathmandu-Chengdu sector immediately after Lhasa. 

“Himalaya Airlines is in the documentation phase,” said Ritesh Chandra Lal Suman, director general of Caan. “As soon as the documentation phase is completed, Caan will issue a no-objection certificate to the airline and it will be allowed to bring aircraft.”

Among the five mandatory phases that need to be completed by a new company, Himalaya is in the third phase, Suman said, adding that is everything goes well; it will take at least six months for the carrier to start commercial services in Nepal. 

An official of Himalaya said they had to postpone the planned flights due to delays in implementing all the rules prescribed by the regulator. “Likewise, work on route clearance from the Chinese side has also been delayed,” the officials mentioned. 

On August 19, the Yeti Airlines Group, Himalaya infrastructure Fund (HIF) Aviation Investment Company and Tibet Airlines joined forces to launch the joint venture. 

Tibetan Airlines holds 49 percent and Yeti World Investment (an affiliate of the yeti Airlines group) and HIF the rest of the stock in the company which has a paid-up capital of $25 million. 

Himalaya has been issue a category B license that allows it to operate flights of up to 180 minutes’ duration. It currently holds a permit to fly to 14 international destinations. 

 Meanwhile, Suman said that Saurya Airlines has completed the fourth phase of documentation and is likely to get clearance o operate flights within a month. It had planned to conduct flights from the first week of September, but has been forced to keep its new plane on the ground due to inadequate paperwork. 

The airline plans to conduct flights between Kathmandu and Dhangadi, Biratnagar, Nepalgunj, Bhairahawa and Bhadrapur besides charter and Mountain View flights.


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