ANI says it will resume flights soon

Kathmandu, October 24:

Air Nepal International (ANI), which had ceased operations in March 2006, will resume all its international flights with two Boeing 737-800s under Japanese-Nepali joint management.

“We are hoping to bring one aircraft in November and another in January,” Pradeep Rana, President of ANI, told this daily. He said that the lease agreement was signed a month ago.

“We have already obtained approvals from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal and the Air Operating Certificate has also been cleared,” Rana said.

“ANI still has a valid Air Operating Certificate and they have the Air Transport Right, so it would face no problem restarting,” Birendra Bahadur Basynet, a board member of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and CEO of Buddha Air, told this daily.

ANI was granted the Air Operating Certificate (AOC) in the fiscal year 2004-05 along with four other airlines - Base Air, Agni Air, Nepal Airlines and Flying Dragon Airlines - according to the CAAN.

Of these airlines, ANI was the first to started flights along Kathmandu-Bangkok and Kathmandu-Kuala Lumpur routes.

“If ANI comes back into operation, it will provide a big relief to the aviation industry,” Madhav Ghimeri, Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation said.

He added that although the decision has ‘not been brought to the Ministry’s notice’ so far, since ANI got the AOC long back ‘it would face no problem re-launching.’

ANI had suspended all its international flights since December 22, 2005, without prior notice leaving 53 passengers stranded in Kathmandu. It was operating international flights to Kuala Lumpur, Doha, Dubai and Bangkok. c