Kathmandu, August 11
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has permitted Shree Airlines today to operate chartered flights to Varanasi in India. With this permission the airline company can now conduct a demonstration flight to Varanasi and take forth other procedures for regular operation.
“After conducting the demonstration flight, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will decide whether to provide air operator’s certificate (AOC) to us,” he said. Manandhar further added that the company expects to contribute to the Visit Nepal Year (VNY) 2020 campaign through this flight to Varanasi.
It has been almost one-and-ahalf years since the airline company had sought permission from CAAN to operate short-distance international flights.
“We have finally received permission to operate flights to Varanasi after a long wait and it will definitely contribute to VNY 2020,” Manandhar said, adding, “India is the largest market for the country’s tourism sector. So, we are aiming to carry more Indian tourists to Nepal.” He, however, said that the company had asked CAAN for permission for scheduled flights. “If we could operate scheduled flights then we will be able to bring more Indian tourists to the country,” he said, “But for now CAAN has given permission for chartered flights only.”
Prior to this, Buddha Air, which has been conducting scheduled domestic flights, had obtained permission to operate scheduled flights to Varanasi.
Shree Airlines plans to use three of its four aircraft — two 50-seat CRJ-200s and a 70-seat CRJ-700 — to conduct short-distance international chartered flights. Shree Airlines, which began its operation in 2002 as a helicopter service provider, launched fixed-wing air operations in August 2017. Since then it has been operating scheduled domestic flights to Biratnagar, Nepalgunj, Dhangadhi, Bhairahawa and Bhadrapur. It is adding more aircraft to its fleet aiming to operate international flights to other destinations too.
A version of this article appears in print on August 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.