Nepal reviewing ownership options for flag carrier

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Nepal is considering ownership options for Nepal Airlines, as the carrier struggles to rebuild its fleet and operations.

In an interview with Flightglobal, the airline’s corporate director Ram Hari Sharma confirmed some of the options being considered include turning Nepal Airlines into a public limited company or bringing in foreign strategic partners.

When asked about what led to the decision to reconsider its status, Sharma says the carrier faced issues such as a shortage of available aircraft and challenges promoting itself. However, he was unable to comment as to when the government, which owns the carrier, will make a decision.

Nepal Airlines recently took the first of two Xian Aircraft MA60 turboprops gifted by China. Another MA60 and four Harbin Y12E commuter turboprops will be delivered by October. They will be used to resume domestic services that were suspended previously.

The carrier also has a DHC-6 Twin Otter and two Boeing 757-200s in operation, while two more Twin Otters are in maintenance. The two Airbus A320s it has on order will likely be delivered in February and April 2015. Sharma adds that future fleet additions will also be considered, as it works on a new business plan.

FlightMaps Analytics shows that internationally, Nepal Airlines flies from Kathmandu to Bangkok, Doha, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur.