HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Though the national flag carrier has been on a death bed, the country is having a new domestic airlines that will start international flight from September.
BB Airways today got the operating licence from the ministerial decision to start international flights to seven destinations New Delhi, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Qatar and Singapore.
“The airlines is planning to fly from September with three Boeing 767 300 ER," according to chief executive officer (CEO) of BB Airways Shishir Bhatta.
As soon as we get Airlines Operating Certificate (AOC) from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), we will start our flights," he said, adding that the authority might take six months to give AOC to the airlines.
BB Airways is promoted by TBI Group — an investment company led by Non-Resident Nepalese Association (NRNA) treasure Bhawan Bhatta, who is the chairman of BB Airways — that also runs a vernacular daily and beer factory in Nepal.
"The airlines first needs to get permission from the ministry before approaching CAAN for its evaluation,” said director general of CAAN Ram Prasad Neupane.
A new airlines needs a bank guarantee of Rs 500 million and should have at least three aircrafts, either
on lease or on purchase basis, before its full operation, according to joint secretary at the ministry Ranjan Krishna Aryal.
“The airlines have to submit a copy of approval at CAAN for its technical evaluation after it gets approval from the ministry," he said, adding that CAAN gives AOC after six months of technical evaluation. "The airlines can start its operation within one year after it gets AOC from the CAAN."
BB Airways had applied for the permission of international flights from Kathmandu at Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation on September 25, 2011.
The ministry today gave the airlines a green signal on the basis of a seven-member evaluation committee led by joint secretary Suresh Acharya.
At a time, when the international tourist arrivals have seen an encouraging growth, the domestic airlines flying on international route might help bring more visitors.