Shree Airlines got the green signal to add three Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft into its fleet nearly after 6 months of the application being forwarded to Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), however, it has to wait for a substantial amount of time to receive Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC).
Corporate Manager of Shree Airlines Mr. Anil Manandhar said that the airline has already completed the necessary documentation and now is waiting for approvals from the respective authority.
The airline has to accomplish its five-phase certification process—pre-application, formal application, document evaluation, inspection and demonstration, and the certification to obtain the AOC. It will be issued a no-objection letter to bring the aircraft and once the aircraft arrives, the carrier applies for the AOC. Successful proving flights of the aircraft and documentation will enable the carrier to fly the newly-acquired aircraft for commercial purpose.
CAAN has informed that the approval of AOC will take considerable time as the Q400 aircraft type will be new in the aviation industry of Nepal. However, earlier the authority stalled the application arguing that it lacks trained staff to conduct safety and maintenance checks and instead recommended Shree Airlines to add either jet aircraft or Avions de Transport Régional turboprops. But Shree Airline which has been operating Bombardier CRJ200 and CRJ700 aircraft has planned to buy the same company’s aircraft.
The airline will receive flight permission after completing the five steps and it will take a minimum of 7 months for completing the fifth study phase, as per information from CAAN.
The Nepalese regional specialist originally intended to use the maiden Bombardier turboprop on international services to cities in India. The airline currently operates an exclusively domestic network. It applied for an international permit in December 2017, just four months after launching fixed-wing operations. The airline further plans to operate these aircraft to Simara, Janakpur, Bharatpur, Kathmandu, and Tumlingtar with Pokhara being the base as per the initial proposal of the carrier. The airline commenced its service on August 11 last year.